Michigan Gay Man Beaten, Burned in Possible Hate Crime


Shawn Bennett, a gay Lansing, Michigan man, is recovering after being attacked in a public park by suspects he says began threatening him in June. He says they made the attacks because of his sexuality.

WLNS reports: Lansing2 "He was sitting on a picnic table when he heard a noise behind him, and that's when the beating began. The suspects pulled him to the ground and burned him at least a dozen times with a cigar or cigarettes. Bennett says the attack wasn't random. He says the suspects live in his neighborhood started threatening him back in June. On Saturday night they turned their words into actions because he is gay. Lansing police say they've identified the suspects, but Bennett says nothing can change what's been done he wants justice. He just wants to know why."

Said Bennett: "This shouldn't happen to anybody, no matter if they're gay, straight, black or white. We are people. They stuck gravel in my face, putting rocks in my ears, the hospital actually had to take them out. I was just begging them to stop. I told them to just stop, just leave me alone."

Lansing police are investigating but have not made any arrests.

WLNS video report here.