Three attacks of gay men have been reported over the last four days in Columbus, Ohio.
Coaxed into helping a person jump his car, Christopher Ashcraft was instead beaten unconscious on Thursday, June 6. Ashcraft, a visitor from Crescent Springs, KY, had been smoking outside of a gay bar called the Southbend Tavern in Merion Village when his assailant asked him to help jump his car. Two men then brutally beat him and stole his wallet.
“Once I was on the ground, they just kicked me in the face a couple times until I was unconscious. It was…an hour to an hour-and-a-half later before I woke up and, from what I’m told, crawled back to the bar where I was found laying behind the bar,” Ashcraft said, as reported by LGBTQnation.
According to an interview with Cincinnati’s WCPO-TV, Ashcraft believed that the attack was inspired by hate. However, the police disagree, citing the fact that no anti-gay sentiments were spoken.
On Sunday, June 9, on his walk home from his job at Union restaurant, Chris Kratavil was attacked and beaten.
The following morning David Conley, a gay man, was attacked and hit in the back of the head by a 2-by-4 and then robbed in Columbus’ Olde Towne. Before being attacked, Conley called the police, reporting that he was being approached my a group of men who were shouting offensive comments. The police arrived soon after the blow and arrested the three men.
These attacks follow a recent trend of anti-gay incidents in New York City, suggesting an alarming trend.
However, the executive director of BRAVO, Gloria McCauley, says these are “bias crimes,” meaning that the stereotype that gay men won’t fight back make them easier targets.
“It’s not all that unusual. It’s June,” McCauley said, as reported by LGBTQnation. “We’re so out and proud in June, and people are out there who don’t like it.”