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Gay Man Attacked on DC Metro Train

Dcist reports that a gay man was attacked by a group of six or seven men on a DC Metro train last Friday night:

Dcattack"'Nathaniel,' as he's referred to in the report, was riding alone on a train Friday night. As the doors closed at Metro Center, the group surrounded and beat Nathaniel, kicking him as he fell to the floor and yelling 'faggot'. Nathaniel managed to get off the train at the Smithsonian station, and he ran up to the station manager's booth to report the incident. He said Metro Transit Police would not drop him off at his house, only to another Metro station. He believes that the attackers targeted him for money and their realization that he's gay 'escalated their rage.' Nathaniel also believes that Metro surveillance cameras caught footage of his attackers, but has yet to hear of any arrests related to the incident."

According to the Metro Police, they "responded to the scene immediately and spoke to the victim and took an official report. Officers said the victim never told them that the assailants had used anti-gay language during the assault. Indeed, he had been injured during the incident, however the man refused medical aid and signed a waiver that he refused to receive any medical attention. Officers indeed did volunteer to drive the man home, however he said he only wanted the officers to drop him off at the Eastern Market Metrorail station, which they did."

(FOX5 video)

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  1. Before any sensitive reader here starts waving their protest signs and banners and writing an essay lambasting the Metro police for being as homophobic as the perpetrators, be aware that the police claim to have a signed waiver from Nathaniel (the victim) refusing medical treatment and they claimed to have offered him a ride home, which he also refused.

    It's his word against theirs, but if the police present us with this signed waiver, well, I may have to take Nathaniel's claims with a grain of salt or else count his accusations down to his hysteria in light of the incident.

    I'm not taking sides here. And there could well be a cover-up on the part of the police. I'm just saying to Towleroad readers don't jump to conclusions until we get our facts straight.

    Posted by: PC | Dec 12, 2007 4:19:31 AM


  2. I don't know exactly what happened here, so I can only speak about my experiences on the metro.

    I was elbowed hard in the chest by a crazy old man right in front of station manager booth once (somewhere on the orange line).

    The guy in the booth just sat there while the old guy screamed "c*ck sucker" at me (and I yelled "geriatric *sshole" back) until the old man started screaming about "n*ggers". I am Eurasian by the way.

    Posted by: RP | Dec 12, 2007 7:41:01 AM


  3. The poster 24PLAY and I had a heated discussion about this type of situation a while ago. A violent robbery turned gay-bashing. Does the robbery/assault/reckless endangerment now also become a hate crime? Why not?

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Dec 12, 2007 10:39:05 AM


  4. I live in DC and can tell you that even if this man's claims are not entirely accurate, there has been a noticeable increase in aggressive and even violent behavior by teens in the Metro recently. On top of that, the system is so poorly managed in all areas including safety and plagued with entrenched apathy that I don't expect anything useful to be done about it. Despite being supposedly cleaner than other places, in many other ways, service is worse than I've found in most major cities with mass rail transit.

    Case in point, I was delayed making my way home last week because the train in front of me had to stop so paramedics could attend to a man who was beaten by a group of teen just for asking them not be so loud and to stop swearing while standing over his seat. He was knocked unconscious and was apparently bleeding a fair bit. Of course, the teens fled the scene. His fellow passengers had to board my train because theirs had become a crime scene. They were all pretty shaken up. Since the incident, I've yet to see any increase in police presence during early evening rush hours when the system is flooded with teens getting out of school.

    Posted by: James C | Dec 12, 2007 11:02:37 AM


  5. I'm a DC native now in Chicago, and it amazes me in both cities how ALONE you can be in a train station, especially at night. It's really, really scary sometimes.

    And since both cities' transit systems have perpetual financial problems, they won't be hiring extra security any time soon.

    So, kids, simply DO NOT ride the train alone at night. If the bus is an option, take it. Or the money for a cab is worth it.

    If you must take the train, try waiting by the manager's station and running up (or down) when you hear the train coming.

    Posted by: Jeff | Dec 12, 2007 12:22:57 PM


  6. Or move to NYC. But it's a good bet to ride in the car with the conductor for the most safety.

    Posted by: sugarrhill | Dec 12, 2007 6:34:13 PM


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