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Arrest Made in Apparent Antigay Attack

Arrest Made in Apparent Antigay Attack

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An arrest was made Friday in a recent attack on a man in Chicago's Boystown, one of a series of incidents that have alarmed people who live, work, or patronize businesses in the heavily gay neighborhood.

Darren Hayes, 24, of nearby Hammond, Ind., was charged with aggravated battery and mob action in connection with the stabbing of 25-year-old Rubin Robinson (pictured) in a knife attack last Sunday. A group of men attacked Robinson and his friends just before midnight as they walked along Halsted Street, which is home to many gay bars. The attack was caught on videotape, on which can be heard largely unintelligible shouts, but it has been reported that the assailants used antigay slurs.

Robinson, a psychology student at DePaul University, suffered multiple stab wounds, including one near his spine. The charges against Hayes are likely to be upgraded to attempted murder when the case is brought before a grand jury, prosecutors with the Cook County state's attorney's office told the Chicago Tribune.

The uptick in crime in the neighborhood was the subject of a large community meeting last Wednesday at racial and class tensions erupted. Boystown is a fairly affluent neighborhood with a diverse racial mix; some comments appeared to blame crimes on people, especially youths, who come into the neighborhood from poorer, largely black and Latino areas. The meeting "drew nearly 800 people and a debate so heated that it often turned into a screaming match," Windy City Times reported.

Some organizers of the meeting had distributed signs that said, "Diversity Is Welcome. Crime Is Not," which some attendees criticized as racist. Some attendees demanded a larger police presence, as Alderman Tom Tunney has requested; others found police and residents hostile to young people and called for alternative crime-fighting strategies. Some asserted that the youth programs at the Center on Halsted, Chicago's LGBT community center, bring crime into the neighborhood.

"Very few advocated the end of youth services at the Center, but comments about the number of visitors to the neighborhood from the South and West sides of the city for youth services underscored sentiments that some youth are disrespectful guests," Windy City Times reported. "Still, others argued that the city had failed to provide LGBT youth services in other parts of the city, and that young people without other resources were being forced into a neighborhood hostile to them."

Read the full report on the meeting here, and see a television interview with Robinson here, in which he told Chicago's channel 2 that he hopes recent crimes in Boystown do not fuel prejudice against black gay men.

Also Friday, three men were charged in an antigay attack in another neighborhood, in a commuter train station in downtown Chicago Thursday night, the Tribune reports. They are accused of threatening a 23-year-old man, whose name was not released, and using antigay insults against him in the Millennium Station; one reportedly pulled a knife. Hate-crime and battery charges were filed against Mack Heard, 17, Kendrick L. Towner, 18, and a 14-year-old who was not identified because he is a minor. Read more here.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.