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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 19 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 38
Group that attacked Philly Gay couple claims self-defense, community outraged
Section One
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Group that attacked Philly Gay couple claims self-defense, community outraged

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Sometimes, after the bruises heal and the scars begin to fade, the thing that hurts victims of violent attacks more than the physical harm/threat is the defense their attackers use in court to justify why they did whatever heinous thing they are accused of doing. Everyone has heard of the 'Twinkie Defense,' I assume. Well, the days of that crackpot defense tactic have come and gone, but now the bigots, according to what the alleged attackers of a Gay couple in Philadelphia last weekend have said, claim self-defense.

And the community, as one could only imagine, is outraged. And for good reason! How in the Hell does a group of 15 privileged white kids, graduates from a Catholic school, attack two unarmed Gay men on their way out for pizza and claim self-defense?

This we simply cannot allow.

Caryn Kunkle, a source close to the victims, 30 and 31, described as 'tall, masculine-looking dudes,' said the men were walking home when a group of approximately eight to ten young people bumped into them. After a very brief verbal confrontation where one of the attackers asked if the men were boyfriends, the group physically struck.

'It went from 0 to 100 miles per hour,' she said. 'They were calling them 'fucking faggots' and everything.'

According to Kunkle, one of the victims fractured both his cheekbones and jawbone, and has a 2-inch laceration from his nose to inside his lip; surgery was required.

Kunkle also said that the Special Victims Unit got involved.

On Thursday, the people who allegedly committed the assault made their claim that they acted in self-defense and Kunkle says that 'the District Attorney prepared the boys for that. It would be pretty much the only attempt at an excuse they could possibly try. However, it was very clear that the group asked if they were dating before the assault began, and they verbally assaulted them before and during the time they were beating them. I don't think self-defense will stick for long. Every witness refutes their claim.'

Archbishop Wood Catholic High School has released a statement concerning reports former students were involved in the incident.

'Earlier today, Archbishop Wood High School became aware that some of its former students were allegedly involved in the assault of two men in Center City last week. This afternoon, administrators communicated with the entire Archbishop Wood school community to make it emphatically clear that the school does not, under any circumstances, tolerate or condone the violent and hateful behavior displayed by those who took part in this senseless attack,' the school said in the statement. 'Administration also stressed that Catholic schools are centers of learning where students are expected to treat each other in a Christ-like manner at all times and that everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. The actions of those who took part in the attack are reprehensible and entirely unacceptable. They are not an accurate reflection of our Catholic values or of Archbishop Wood High School.'

An assistant coach for the school's basketball team resigned before he could be fired Wednesday for his alleged connection to the attack on the Gay couple in Center City.

The man, who has not been officially charged, is a person of interest in the assault. Police are in the process of interviewing several persons of interest after they released surveillance video and photos of a group of men and women who may have been involved in the attack.

Authorities identified several persons of interest after a social media firestorm tracked down the possible suspects based on check-ins at a Center City restaurant pictured in an image that showed people similarly dressed to the attackers.

The man, or person of interest, resigned his post as an assistant basketball coach at Archbishop Wood after being confronted about the allegations, according to a school spokesman.

School officials said that if he hadn't quit he would have been fired. Original reports were that the unnamed coach was fired rather than resigned.

'He was not a teacher at the school but serving as a coach on a contract basis,' the spokesperson said. 'We expect all those who work with students in our schools to model appropriate Christian behavior at all times.'

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