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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 8, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 27
Two Gay service members attacked in Colorado Springs
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Two Gay service members attacked in Colorado Springs

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Two Gay service members and several civilians were attacked in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at a fast food restaurant in the early morning hours of July 2. According to news reports, the attackers hurled anti-Gay and racial slurs as the assault took place.

The two soldiers are stationed at Fort Carson and did not wish to be identified in the press for fear they could get kicked out of the service for violating the U.S. military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' (DADT) policy.

Though Congress voted for repeal of DADT, the law remains in effect until the president, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the defense secretary certify that the military is ready to accept open LGB (no T yet) service.

The certification is expected to take place in August, although no firm date has been set.

Colorado Springs police say they will investigate the attack as a hate crime. 'If based on ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation,' the attack could lead to hate-crimes charges, a police spokesperson told the media.

Details of the brutal attack have emerged. According to one of the military men attacked, referred to as Ted, the soldiers had left a nightclub with their civilian friends - who work as go-go dancers at the club - shortly before the attack.

'We went to Albert Tacos after leaving the nightclub where [our friends] worked,' Ted told local news station KRDO-TV.

'As soon as we walked in, there was a group of African American males that walked in,' the other service member, referred to as John, said. 'And they started a confrontation with us because of the fact that one of our go-gos was still in his outfit.'

Both men say the harassment was both anti-Gay and racial in nature.

'A lot of racial slurs,' John recalled. 'A lot of hatred slurs towards, like, homosexuals.'

Unfortunately, the assailants did not stop with verbal abuse.

The group tried to leave the scene peaceably before things got out of hand, but the aggressors followed them out to the parking lot. That's when the physical assault started.

'I ended up getting kicked in the head and in the ribs several times,' John told media. 'I have six bruised ribs. And my right eye was completely swollen shut for about nine or 10 hours.'

One of the non-military victims suffered a fractured jaw.

'At one point it was basically a bum rush,' said John. 'I turn around and my friend was getting stomped by six black males. Another female friend of mine was trying to fight off three or four men.'

The suspects are described by witnesses and victims as five black males and two black females who left the scene in what was described as a silver passenger vehicle. The prime suspect in the assault is described as a black male, 5'5', 135 pounds, with a bald head.

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