A gay man in Fort Lauderdale suffered multiple facial injuries after he was punched by a stranger who first asked if he was gay.
James Garcia said he was walking his dog, Delilah, outside his condominium on the morning of Sunday, April 17, when he was attacked, suffering two facial fractures and multiple wounds requiring 10 stitches to close. Police later arrested Maurice Antwan Charles, 36, in connection with the attack.
“When I close my eyes I see this attacker every day,” Garcia told WPLG. “I hear his voice. I see his face.”
Garcia said he left his condominium on A1A near 27th Street around 7:45 a.m. when he heard screaming nearby. A few moments he said the man he later identified as Charles approached him.
“Never seen the person in my life. Don’t know who he is,” Garcia said, becoming emotional. “When he approached me, [he] asked me if I was gay, and then he punched me.”
I will never understand how people can be so utterly filled with hatred and rage that they feel compelled to physically attack complete strangers simply based on that person's sexual orientation. It must be mental illness coupled with conservative values.
These kind of attacks happen everyday and largely go unreported. I am so glad that Mr Garcia is going to make a recovery. Mr Charles is the product of engineered hate. Our countries elected officials, particularly those in the republican party, are responsible for stoking this type of bigotry and disgusting behavior. The "Christian Conservatives" are some of the worst. Any politician that won't stand up and condemn this type of behavior needs to be ousted and furthermore banned from holding office. It is inhumane, reprehensible, and quite frankly unacceptable. ANY ABUSE IS UNACCEPTABLE! It doesn't matter if a person is male, female, LGBTQIA, or whatever their race, creed, or personal beliefs are. NOBODY SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO BLUDGEON ANOTHER HUMAN BEING FOR THEM BEING DIFFERENT! WE ARE ALL ENTITLED TO BASIC HUMAN DECENCY AND RESPECT! It needs to be made 100% zero tolerance for such acts. It is a willful and wanton attack steeped in ignorance and bigotry.
Infuriating, disheartening, and scary. Note the end of the article: "It is unclear if Broward County prosecutors will add an additional hate crime charge to the current aggravated battery charge facing Charles."
Unclear if a hate crime will be charged?!? This is why I utterly mistrust the legal system. Yes, they do sometimes get it right, but there is little to no consistency, which totally undermines any hope of feeling secure or protected.