Crime | Gay Slurs | Indiana | News

Ball State University Student Attacked in Anti-Gay Hate Crime


Kyle Flood (pictured), a 21-year-old student at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, and four friends were attacked by two men after leaving a bar early Friday morning, the Star Press reports:

"Flood said the incident happened around 3 a.m. as he and four friends were leaving Moe's bar, where they had been singing karaoke. Two college-age men on foot approached the group as they were at Dill Street and University Avenue and started calling Flood and his friends '[expletive] faggots,' Flood said. When a woman in Flood's party asked one of the men to 'move on,' the man put the woman in a choke hold and threw her to the ground, Flood said. As Flood attempted to intervene, he was knocked to the ground and punched in the face. Flood reported that another man in his group was also attacked. The attackers fled with a third person, who was not involved in the attack, Flood said. Witnesses told Flood they saw the men get into a car at the Ball State Federal Credit Union. Ball State police arrived quickly and attempted to track the men down but were unsuccessful, Flood said. The attack, and the fact that the men remained at-large, has affected Flood's sense of safety. 'I don't think I'll be going to the bars in Muncie in a long time,' Flood said."

Indiana Equality yesterday published a first-hand account of what appears to be the same crime.

Law enforcement called anti-gay attacks rare on campus. Said Ball State University Police Chief Gene Burton: "Let me put it this way, I've seen it before. But I could not tell you the last time."

Ball State student says attack was hate crime [the star press]
Ball State Bias Crime [indiana equality]
(image via flood's wikipedia page)

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  1. Wow, Muncie sounds like a really awful, awful city.

    This from today's Washington Post:

    "Here's the worst: In Muncie, a factory town in the east-central part of Indiana, Ross and her cohorts were soliciting support for Obama at malls, on street corners and in a Wal-Mart parking lot, and they ran into "a horrible response," as Ross put it, a level of anti-black sentiment that none of them had anticipated.

    "The first person I encountered was like, 'I'll never vote for a black person,' " recalled Ross, who is white and just turned 20. "People just weren't receptive.""

    On the other side of the state, Obama's headquarters in Vincennes was vandalized the day of the primary.

    Posted by: Sean H | May 13, 2008 9:31:33 AM

  2. As a former BSUer, I can tell you that Muncie is divided into two portions - the ultra liberal Ball State Side - and the ultra conservative Muncie side. It's two different planets there, and BSU didn't really have a lot of anti-gay crap even when I went there in the early 90s. The LBGT group would often host educational panels in all the dorms and other places. Don't judge BSU by one incident.

    Posted by: taodon | May 13, 2008 10:40:18 AM

  3. I grew up in Muncie; both my parents are professors at Ball State. The Ball State community is wonderful. My parents have been welcoming to LGBT students since forever, as far as I know; they certainly didn't miss a beat in accepting me when I came out. And Muncie is hardly an "awful, awful city."

    The fact that the article you site, Sean H, calls it a factory town makes it completely unreliable to me. Muncie has a population of 60,000. It was a university with nearly 20,000 undergraduates. Last I checked, that makes it a university town by nearly any definition. The *is* a substantial population of blue collar locals who have fallen on bad times as a lot of factories have shut down, but what drives Muncie's economy is the university and the hospital.

    Anyway, the attack is unfortunate, obviously, but it seems clear that the authories responded quickly and appropriately. I'm sorry that the student feels unsafe; if I were in Muncie, I'd tell him he was going to the wrong bars anyway. He should be downtown, where the cool bars are, not in the village, where drunken frat boys roam.

    Posted by: Dan E | May 13, 2008 11:35:45 AM

  4. Did you just call the Washington Post unreliable?

    Interesting. According to the US Census, the town of Muncie has little over 6,300 people living in the town with a Bachelors Degree or higher. There are 13K enrolled students. It's a town in transition, certainly. I'll give you that. It's turning form a factory town into one that is finding it's way. The biggest employers are the University, the hospital and Wal-Mart.

    I'm sorry, but two stories citing one attack on a man because he's gay and another coming out about racism doesn't speak well about your town.

    Posted by: Sean H | May 13, 2008 12:13:52 PM

  5. Check Wikipedia on Ball State. There are significantly more than 20,000 people.

    Read the student's report on police response to the bias crime. And on how other citizens responded.

    That's where you'll find the real reflection of Muncie: the police responded well. Other citizens responded well. You can hardly hold an entire community responsible for what three men did.

    And yes, I called the Washington Post unreliable. David Broder is a hack. They publish garbage story after garbage story. And the university has been the largest empoyer in Muncie my entire life; it's nothing new.

    But hey, ignore the two people who've actually spent time in Muncie. What do we know, compared to your extrapolations based on a couple of news stories?

    For context: I live in New York City, and have for nine years. Before that I spent seven in Atlanta. I've had people yell "faggot" at me in both Manhattan and Atlanta; never once in Muncie. My god, what awful cities Atlanta and New York City must be!!! (/snark)

    Posted by: Dan E | May 13, 2008 12:22:42 PM

  6. So...lemme check. You have dismissed the Washington Post AND the US Census Bureau cause hey, you lived there once.


    Posted by: Sean H | May 13, 2008 12:41:53 PM

  7. Fourth one down, Google search for Hate Crime and Muncie. Just saying. It can happen in your town too. Instead of ignoring it and saying that it doesn't happen in Muncie, maybe it should be addressed.

    "Muncie, Indiana, Man Convicted of Federal Civil Rights Violations After Burning Cross

    WASHINGTON - Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Grace Chung Becker and Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Timothy Morrison announced today that Kyle Milbourn of Muncie, Ind., was convicted by a federal jury for a hate crime stemming from a cross-burning last year that was directed at a woman and her three biracial children."

    Posted by: Sean H | May 13, 2008 12:47:55 PM

  8. Wow! Another cross burning in Muncie from a story in the Ball State Daily News.

    Posted by: Sean H | May 13, 2008 12:52:57 PM

  9. The US Census is wrong on the number of students at Ball State; why would you check the Census for number students at a university, anyway? Why not check, I don't know, the university's enrollment numbers, like I did?

    You're hopeless. You'll believe what you want. And I didn't "live there once." I was there for 18 years, my parents are still there, I know hundreds of people there. What you're taking as exemplary is exceptional (meaning unusual).

    Google hate crimes for ANY CITY IN AMERICA, and I'm sure you'll find multiple examples. Does that make all those cities awful?

    Posted by: Dan E | May 13, 2008 12:56:31 PM

  10. Oh, and you did notice that the second cross burning you reference happened in the 1960s, right?

    The fact the the Ball State Daily News published an introspective look at the problem of racism-- a problem that still exists in every city in Amercia-- is a *good* thing. How you could posit it as proof of something bad is beyond me.

    Posted by: Dan E | May 13, 2008 1:01:22 PM

  11. Graduated from BSU in '83. Used to run from the then gay bar Mark IV to my car with friends so we didn't get bashed. Town was full of white trash then and is full of white trash now. And you know, the worst trash is white trash. If they were to give the country an enima they would insert in Muncie. It will never change. And the people defending it on this blog only hurt matters because defending a town full of biggots will never help change anything. Advice to gays: Just get the hell out of Indiana!

    Posted by: greg | May 13, 2008 1:05:44 PM

  12. As a current Ball State senior, it's disappointing to read about what happened to Kyle. I thought Ball State was a community where things like this were super rare and never happened but apparently they aren't.

    I was involved in an altercation about 6 or 7 months ago on the edge of campus. My roommate and I (he's also gay) were walking to his car. Some dumbass drunk guy proceeded to run across the street and throw punches at me and call us queers. Unfortunately for him, he, like Kyle, ended up at Ball Memorial Hospital, all thanks to a queer.

    I am deeply ashamed of the BSU and Muncie community.

    Posted by: rfsquared | May 13, 2008 1:14:50 PM

  13. PS: to Greg:

    Indiana isn't that bad, really. People just give it a bad wrap. My boyfriend goes to IU and we hold hands in public in Bloomington all the time to little or no fanfare. It just depends on where you're at.

    Posted by: rfsquared | May 13, 2008 1:16:53 PM

  14. Dumbass drunk college guys are a fact of life; what distinguishes one university from another is not the presence of absence of said dumbasses, but rather how the university community responds.

    Based on what I'm reading, BSU and Muncie are responding well to this attack; how did they respond to the attack on your friend, RFsquared?

    Posted by: Dan E | May 13, 2008 1:49:52 PM

  15. Dan, nobody really talked about it because not that many people knew about it. I just called the cops afterwards and they took him to BMH and asked if I was okay. Since I tore up my attacker worse than what he did to me, I decided not to press any charges.

    Posted by: rfsquared | May 13, 2008 1:56:20 PM

  16. RFsquared--

    If you feel you need any help from the BSU administration on these issues, let me know (at the email I provide on this posting; on my other postings the email I provide is just a spam-filter-account).

    My mother is an Assistant Dean, and cares a lot about LGBT issues. I'm sure she'd be happy to help in any way she could, and would direct you to others who could help as well. And my Dad's kind of an institution there, so he could certainly help as well.

    Posted by: Dan E | May 13, 2008 1:59:51 PM

  17. The country is more homogenized than ever, there's evil, awful gay-hater places in NY as well as LA and everywhere in between. You can get bashed ANYWHERE if it's the right circumstances on the right day with the right people involved.

    Posted by: johnny | May 13, 2008 2:27:00 PM

  18. LMAO....Yes Johnny, that's right, let's compare Muncie to NY. Maybe even SF? We are our own worst enemies. Until we admit there is a huge problem with homophobia and biggotry in the "Muncies" of our great land we are no better than the ones beating up the faggots. I got the hell outta of Indiana in 86 and never looked back. I go home now to see gay friends with multiple attacks, a crime sheet a mile long for
    "lewd conduct" charges stemming from intrapment (by the non-homophobic police forces of the great state of Indiana) and gay bars in hoods where you get the shit beat out of you if you are brave enough to show your face. Keep living in denial. I chose to pull my head outta my ass long ago and get the hell outta there. My life has been so much better ever since. But you just keep telling yourselves how wonderful it is.....:)!

    Posted by: Greg | May 13, 2008 2:39:52 PM

  19. Greg--

    Your notion of Muncie is based on 1983, not 2008, so you're not exactly being fair. I go home to Muncie once or twice a year. My gay friends who still live there have none of the issues you're talking about, and downtown Muncie, where the Mark IV still is, is now home to the coolest night spots in Muncie-- and they actually *are* pretty cool. Places like the Heorot and the Fickle Peach.

    I have no doubt it sucked to be gay in Muncie in 1983; but unless you've tried to be gay there in 2008, you really don't know what you're talking about. There's a big difference everywhere in the country between being gay in the early 80's and being gay today.

    Posted by: Dan E | May 13, 2008 2:52:32 PM

  20. LMAO again...yes...clearly as evidenced by the Obama hating biggots and fag beating frat boys. Enjoy your trips home. I, for one, would not give that town a dime of my money or the opportunity to ever say I was dumb enough to step foot in it again.
    Best of luck.

    Posted by: greg | May 13, 2008 3:17:41 PM

  21. Clearly, Ball State's education wasn't particularly good in 1983, if it taught you that it was sound critical thinking to extrapolate "truth" about an entire community based on 2 incidents.

    Hey, gay men have been murdered in New York City. And cops who brutally murdered a black man were let off without any punishment. Based on your logic, New York City is a homophobic, racist backwater, right?

    Posted by: Dan E | May 13, 2008 3:27:27 PM

  22. Man, what are you, the tourism director?

    Your town, i'm sorry, sometimes sucks. It has a history of racial problems that reared their head in the most recent primary and is now making news for another hate crime.

    Pull your head outta the sand, stop attacking others for bringing up pesky facts and just accept the fact that shitty people in this world exist. Even in Muncie.

    Posted by: Sean H | May 13, 2008 5:10:57 PM

  23. Man, what are you, the tourism director?

    Your town, i'm sorry, sometimes sucks. It has a history of racial problems that reared their head in the most recent primary and is now making news for another hate crime.

    Pull your head outta the sand, stop attacking others for bringing up pesky facts and just accept the fact that shitty people in this world exist. Even in Muncie.

    Posted by: Sean H | May 13, 2008 5:10:57 PM

  24. First of all...tourism in Muncie! LMFAO! Maybe the "See where the circus freak show originates from" tour! And alas, yes, poor Dan. Again, we are our own worst enemies. Black KKK members...Jewish nazis...and gays defending Muncie. All the same. Maybe he can march up and down University Ave. carrying a sign that says "Gay rights for all". Or would he? Actions speak louder than words.

    Posted by: Greg | May 13, 2008 5:27:00 PM

  25. Greg, get your panties unbunched, scroll up and re-read what I wrote. Gay bashing and homophobia can happen anywhere, REGARDLESS OF LOCATION.

    All it takes is some idiot and his buddies, zero police presence (or anyone else around for that matter) and unsuspecting gay people. Add a little dark of night and you got a situation ripe for some bashing.

    I'm not supporting and/or comparing anything, (least of all small, midwestern towns to NY & LA) just stating the facts. But hey, go ahead and use my post for an excuse to rant again.

    Posted by: johnny | May 13, 2008 6:47:06 PM

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