Crime | Florida | Fort Lauderdale | News

Gay Man Beaten in Ft Lauderdale After Telling Man 'Good Morning'


An ugly attack happened on Fort Lauderdale's Las Olas Boulevard on Saturday. Melbourne Brunner had finished a late night meal with his partner at the Floridian Restaurant when it happened, WSVN reports:

Brunner said he received the injuries from the stranger who walked by their table and targeted him for no other reason besides the fact that he is a gay man. Brunner said they tried to be cordial with the stranger when they first made eye contact. "He looked down at us, and my partner said, 'Good morning,' and that was it."

Brunner recalled, moments later, the man returned visibly upset. "He just started with this barrage, of, 'Are you looking at me, you faggot? You know what I do to faggots? I break their necks!'"

After the verbal encounter, his partner and friend decided to ask for their check. They got up, left the restaurant and headed down the sidewalk to their car. That's when the attacker followed them and made his move. "As I was almost into the car, the guy had made it down the sidewalk and had reached inside and grabbed the edge of the door," explained Brunner. The verbal attack turned physical when Brunner stood up. "That's when he hit me, and I landed face-down on the concrete."

Mitchell Mart, the victim's partner, went to render aid to Brunner and noticed his injuries. "I came down the street to pick him up and put him in the car and saw he was badly injured," Mart said. "His forehead immediately swelled up, his eye closed, he was bleeding."

Mart tried to get the attacker's license tag number from his pickup truck, but the assailant went out of his way to keep it hidden. "He took off his shirt, covered his license plate, put down his tailgate," he said.

Brunner said the attacker then threatened them. "'I'll kill you before you get my tag number, you faggot!' and jumped in his car, rolled down the window and was screaming, 'That's right, run, faggots, run.'"

Brunner and his partner did get a good description of the vehicle and the attacker, however: "Authorities are looking for a newer model, four-door Toyota Tacoma with a metallic green color, chrome rims, a black roll bar and a black bed cover. The attacker is described as a white male, in his early 30s, with a muscular build, clean-cut hair, standing about 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet tall."

In related news, 17-year-old Simmie Williams was gunned down on Sistrunk Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale over the weekend while dressed in women's clothes. Authorities are still trying to determine the motive behind that attack.

Police search for man who attacked gay couple [wsvn]
Gay man attacked outside popular Fort Lauderdale eatery [sun-sentinel]

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  1. We must fight back.

    Posted by: JLS | Feb 26, 2008 11:23:27 AM

  2. How did the attacker know they were gay? Just because two men were sitting together? What if they were brothers? Business partners? Co-workers? Cousins?

    How did the attacker know they were gay?

    Posted by: How? | Feb 26, 2008 11:23:46 AM

  3. This is yet another example that you can’t let your guard down. Especially after someone has just threatened you. We should all learn how to protect ourselves and others in the gay community.

    Posted by: 1♥ | Feb 26, 2008 11:46:59 AM

  4. Andy, not a day has gone by recently that you have not posted some horrendous news item about a gay being attacked or killed.

    I remember many years ago, [was it] "The Pink Panthers", the vigilante group that patrolled Greenwich Village and The Castro? In those days we [gays] were unified. How many more of these attacks will it take before we are unified again to stand up to these fuck-heads?

    I will admit that when I read it happened in Florida, my gut responded with "Well, of course it did!", and I was glad that I moved out of that excrement of a state. But if this kind of garbage is not stopped there... where next?

    Posted by: Rad | Feb 26, 2008 11:47:07 AM

  5. HOW?,

    This is a point I've tried to make to gay men over and over and over again. You don't have to be a fem or drag queen for a gay-bashing motha' fucka' to notice that you are gay. He's looking for crazy stereotypes such as "too clean and stylish" or "too much smiling between the two guys" Yes, it can be as crazy as that when you're dealing with a psychotic piece of misogynisric, hyper-masculine shit. THat's why I say that gay men who dislike/look down on those of us who don't obey (or even try to obey) gender role norms are almost as bad as the gay-bashers.

    Whether you are like the Lady Bunny or Militia (from American Gladiator) or Matt Sanchez--we are all faggots to them!

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Feb 26, 2008 11:51:50 AM

  6. Well said Derrick.

    Posted by: Will | Feb 26, 2008 11:55:57 AM

  7. Derrick is dead on that we will never fully be able to fight back as a cultural sub group until we address the internal homophobia in the masc/femme wars.

    Meanwhile, any time I go to a place I think I might be exposed to potential anti-gay bias...I'll be honest, I carry a knife. I will not hesitate to protect myself or a friend who is with me from some crazy homophobe who's probably just scared of what really makes his dick hard.

    Posted by: Ben | Feb 26, 2008 11:56:48 AM

  8. is there a gay man alive who hasn't had something like that happen? Maybe without the black eye, but it's pretty much the same "Hello" "are you lost?" "do you need help?" then the response "I hate fags."

    Posted by: cd | Feb 26, 2008 11:58:59 AM

  9. This is the Ken Hutcherson syndrome. Here is what that Asshole had to say. …Hutcherson was preaching on gender roles. During his sermon, Hutcherson stated, “God hates soft men” and “God hates effeminate men.” Hutcherson went on to say, “If I was in a drugstore and some guy opened the door for me, I’d rip his arm off and beat him with the wet end.”

    “That was a joke,” Hutcherson said Friday, when asked about the comment. But it’s not really funny, is it?
    via Queerty.

    Posted by: Maverick69 | Feb 26, 2008 12:02:45 PM

  10. While these types of incidents escalate, I feel idle and helpless even in the face of a hate crimes bill which seems wholy ineffectual.
    Even though I do not necessarily advocate for organized violence, our communties haven't organized even non-violent protest effective enough to create a loud, unavoidable national discussion about this plight.
    This is supposedly a land of freedom and during this election it is precient that this of all issues, not gay marriage be our LGBT national agenda.

    Posted by: TOOBOOT | Feb 26, 2008 12:07:02 PM

  11. I lived in south Florida for over 30 years and just recently moved. The Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area has become a sewer. I have never encountered so many hate filled, profane, rude, ignorant and violent people in my life. I had a concealed carry weapons permit and carried a handgun at all times when out and about. Being ex-military (USMC) I had no qualms about what would happen if I was ever assaulted and feared for my health or safety. The law in Florida is very clear on use of deadly force, and this man would have been fully justified in the shooting of his attacker. If attacked, I will fight back and do as much damage to my attacker as I can. Until gays start defending themselves these attacks will continue and escalate. Learn self-defense or learn to use a weapon. All too often these thugs know gay men or even men perceived to be gay are easy targets. When the victim strikes back and the basher ends up dead or bashed, these attacks will stop.

    I have since moved, with my Hispanic partner, to a rural little town in the midwest. There is little, if any local gay life, but we're at the homesteading age now and it's no big deal. We have more gay friends here, I might add, than in Miami. What we have found is peace, quiet, gorgeous countryside and the adventure a natural environment offers. Most folks in our small town know our sexual orientation and don't care. We can go out without fear of assault or insult and are welcomed everywhere. My only regret is I didn't leave south Florida years ago. So, the bottom line is either learn to defend yourself, stay home or move to a less violent community.

    Posted by: Bob R | Feb 26, 2008 12:28:58 PM

  12. Puuuuullleeeeseee, number one at least he should have fought back in some way not just stand there and get your ass kicked. gouge out his eyes, kick him in the nuts, elbow to the face or nose. Christ quit being so fukin weak!!!!!! No wonder we told what we are. That we're lower than scum. You people are asking for permission to live. Not telling them if you cross my path I;ll fuck you up. Grow a fucking pair people.

    Posted by: David | Feb 26, 2008 12:33:09 PM

  13. Andy, keep us informed of any if they catch the bastard.

    Posted by: John | Feb 26, 2008 12:43:09 PM

  14. Sorry Derrick, but you're just guessing and assuming as to how this gay basher knew this couple was gay. We as gay people need to know facts - cold, hard facts - from this couple as to how the basher knew they were gay.

    Posted by: How? | Feb 26, 2008 12:53:34 PM

  15. I have to admit, I'm with the people who say learn some self-defense techniques or learn to use a weapon. Maybe it's the ex-military in me but soft targets are the easiest and most accessible ones. I've been a target in the past and believe me there's a reason no post on my attack has ever ended up here. I can also guarantee that jerk-off won't be attacking gay men in Asbury Park anytime real soon.

    Posted by: JerzeeMike | Feb 26, 2008 1:13:13 PM

  16. What's concerning is that these types of attacks are not just happening in FL. Here in Seattle there's been an increasing number of attacks on gay people, and indeed people perceived to be gay.

    As some others have alluded to fighting back is the only option. I know this is going to be somewhat controversial...but...other minority groups don't get their asses kicked as they stand up for themselves. In fact, the stereotypical dumb white frat boy types avoid messing with some minorities specifically because they're scared they'll get their asses kicked. Sadly gay men (in particular) are perceived to be an easy target. The sooner this changes, the better.

    Posted by: Gregus | Feb 26, 2008 1:13:33 PM

  17. The attacker knew they were gay because the one that said 'good morning' probably cruised him or looked in his eyes a little too long. You know what I'm talking about so don't play...

    Posted by: Pierre | Feb 26, 2008 1:23:38 PM

  18. I agree with the other commentators but add that not only gay people but black people, women, anyone who could be targeted for violence because of who they are should know what to do in that kind of situation (which hasn't happened to me that bad thank God).

    If you feel uncomfortable, you don't leave to your car. If someone is making threats to you, you stay where you are and call for a police escort (don't roll your eyes, not all police are homophobic). They will do that for you.

    If that's impossible, you tell the restaurant owner that you would like an escort of some sort or for them to be removed from the establishment (the police will prolly be called if you ask so you might want to just skip this step.) If you can't do any of that, you carry protection. I don't know about a knife but pepper spray, a taser if it's legal.

    However, violence for the sake at getting back at them is only gonna make it worse. You are just trying to stop the person before they kill you.

    Posted by: junior | Feb 26, 2008 1:24:25 PM

  19. "...-cold, hard facts-from this coulple as to how the basher knew they were gay."

    From reading the article and Mr. Brunner's recollection of what happened, I'm not sure this gay couple knows why they were "assumed" to be gay and assaulted for it. Do you think Mr.Brunner left some information out of his story? Why would he do that? My point was that gay men who DO NOT fit any so-called stereotypical fem or queenie behavior are sometimes victims of anti-gay violence. Sometimes, "traditionally masculine" gay men ask why they were targeted, and there are possible answers. Those of us who look, walk, talk "stereotypical" already know why we get targeted. So, do you have any idea why this also happens to gay men who behave "appropriately masculine" in publc--'cause sometimes it does happen. How come, HOW?

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Feb 26, 2008 1:24:33 PM

  20. This is one of the main reasons why I started boxing about two years ago. I don't want to end up being a statistic. I'm the only gay guy in boxing class and work twice as hard as everyone else to prove that I'm not a weak faggot (and I'm not by any means).

    I feel AWFUL for this guy. He didn't deserve this at all.

    Posted by: Allen | Feb 26, 2008 1:31:51 PM

  21. "...probably cruised him or looked into his eyes a little to long."

    You're serious, aren't you? Well, I don't know about gay men, but I can tell you about fem gay males. When we have been minding our own business, trying to ignore the straight(or down low) piece of shit, but we encounter violence--we call that gay-bashing. When we cruise a piece of trade or "look at him too long" and it ends in violence--we call that "queen's stupidity" and we blame ourselves. The latter experience we never report to the police and maybe not even to other vicious homos.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Feb 26, 2008 1:34:48 PM

  22. I have to completely agree with the notion of fighting back. I know of far too many gay men who are not ready to defend themselves. I sometimes “feel” that gay men want to be above violence and that is not a responsible response to violence. It is important that you feel.

    While we are at the gym getting in shape it is important to learn how to defend ourselves. For those of us not at the gym, rent a DVD or take a course at a local center. This is something that we should be asking the "straight men" in our lives about. It is a much needed thing to engage in self-defense techniques to ensure the safety of others and ourselves.

    Here is a link to a great video series online:

    Posted by: Charles | Feb 26, 2008 1:37:13 PM

  23. Any gay person who pays taxes is a fool.

    Posted by: John | Feb 26, 2008 1:45:23 PM

  24. Considering the antics of mayor Jim Naugle of Ft Lauderdale, can anyone be surprised? He's set the tone for his city to be specifically anti-gay.

    Moreover, can anyone expect the police in Ft Lauderdale to do anything but sit and pick their noses over this one? Consider the direction they're getting from the top down.

    It's horrible to be sure, and another sad example of how the whole tone of a city can be set badly.

    Posted by: spatula | Feb 26, 2008 1:46:12 PM

  25. Why do we need to know how the basher knew they were gay?

    Frankly, the only justification for that question would be "so we can avoid acting like that ourselves."

    In other words, doing exactly what the homophobe terrorist wants us to do: Change our behavior because of their attack. I'm not gonna do that. And gay-bashings are terrorist attacks: they're meant to affect not just the individual victim (isolated, random), but the whole community, and we're collaborating with them if we allow them to do that.

    To be honest, I'm also troubled by the criticism that the victims should "grow a pair" and learn to fight back. Fight violence with violence? That shouldn't be necessary, and the victims shouldn't be criticized for dealing with the situation the way they did.

    Posted by: Kevinvt | Feb 26, 2008 1:49:08 PM

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