A gay teen and his boyfriend are victims of a hate crime, according to police in Upstate New York, as they were shot at for holding hands.
The Warren County Sherriff's Office tells WTEN TV of Albany the two young men arrested in connection with the attack -- 19-year-old Scott Bills and 21-year-old Bradley Moulton -- admit to yelling antigay slurs and shooting at the couple with a BB gun that closely resembles a pistol. Lt. Steve Stockdale said the BB gun could have easily been mistaken for a real handgun.
"My boyfriend and I were walking down the street at the high school," said 16-year-old Rzonethan Morris of Lake George, N.Y.; the incident occurred in nearby Lake Luzerne. "These four guys were driving the car, and they said, 'F you mother F'ers,'" Morris added.
Morris said he then saw Moulton pull out a gun, and he could hear other people in the car yelling homophobic slurs.
"And they shot at us, and then they sped up and drove off," he said. Neither he nor his boyfriend, who declined to be identified, were hurt. But Morris told WTEN the attack left wounds that aren't visible.
"I haven't felt like I've been safe since it happened," Morris said.
Morris said he knew two people in the car from school, but he he doesn't know Bills or Moulton.
Stockdale said that after scaring the couple, Bills, who was driving the vehicle, drove back toward them a second time, and Moulton threatened them a second time.
"Then I saw them holding the gun out the window again, and then he blew us a kiss and shot at us again," Morris said.
"At first I was petrified; then I was mad," Morris said. "I was really mad that it happened. I just want people to realize that everyone's a person."
Bills and Moulton now face felony hate crime charges. WTEN reports they were released from jail and are set to return to court next week.
"We don't like bullies," Stockdale said. "You're not allowed to pick on somebody because the lifestyle they live is different from the one you live."