Crime | South Carolina

Five Arrested In Mob Attack Of Gay Teenager

Joshua
Remember this awful incident from earlier this month when a large mob attacked a teenager, Joshua Esskew, simply because he was gay? Yesterday, police in South Carolina announced the arrest of five men who participated in the attack. They have al been charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e60f8abd3970c-250wi York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant told The Charlotte Observer the surveillance video that captured the entire episode on tape helped capture the suspects:

"Bryant said the video helped break the case, as it resulted in a number of tips from the public. He said members of the public provided the names of the suspects, and that all five have been arrested. Bryant said he does not think any other people were involved."

"The sheriff's offices says investigators determined that after an argument between Esskew and a man standing in front of the convenience store, a man later identified as Wilson struck Esskew in the back of the head with a bottle. When Esskew attempted to confront Wilson, the sheriff's office says, the other men joined the fight."

"Esskew told the (Rock Hill) Herald that the confrontation started when a man in front of the store yelled a gay slur at him. He told reporters the attack 'was a hate crime.' Bryant said tips from the public were vital in making the arrests. He praised those who provided tips for their 'willingness ... to get involved and not let this violent crime go unpunished.'"

Esskew, who suffered broken blood vessels on his right-eye, cuts on his head and bleeding on his brain. His condition has reportedly improved. The FBI is currently investigating the attack as a hate crime.

Watch a news segment from WCNC, AFTER THE JUMP.

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Comments

  1. How many of these attacks before we're allowed to say "black homophobia"?

    Posted by: Max | Apr 30, 2011 8:52:28 AM


  2. Joshua is sassy.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 30, 2011 8:56:46 AM


  3. And of curse "black homophobia" accounts for Esskew's black friend seen in the video.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Apr 30, 2011 8:57:46 AM


  4. I'm certainly not trying to make light of anything, but designating places or races as being "more" homophobic than anywhere else is socially and psychologically dangerous.

    The fact is that this very site has posted news of gay bashing in NYC, in London, in Toronto, etc. It has intimated that gays can't take taxis in DC--where one of the nation's largest gay communities exist... I mean, come on!

    I know atheists who think homosexuality is abnormal and have had just as vehement things to say as religious people.

    Being a heterosexual, I hear what people say about homosexuals behind closed doors. I hear the types of people doing the talking and its not all protestant white Southerners and Christian black folks. My liberal (not Christian) friend in NH uses "queah" and "fa**ot" like he gets a discount for using them. He says he doesn't care who gets married he just doesn't like watching homosexual PDAs, feeling like he's still a liberal for supporting gay rights and yet he doesn't seem to actually LIKE gay people.

    I also have black friends who don't have a problem with gays and support gay rights.

    You can't just "spot" a homophobe by what they look like, what church they go to, or where they live.

    Hateful people come in all shapes, sizes, and colors.


    Posted by: Rin | Apr 30, 2011 9:07:47 AM


  5. RIN

    Those people are not true atheists!

    One of those guys is smiling.

    Max, maybe it's because in areas of wide poverty....the people are black? when you have high rates of poverty, you have high rates of crime and where you have high rates of crime, you have high rates of ignorance.

    Desperation. What do they have to lose? Who do they aspire to be? Who are their role models? What do their parents-if they have them-do? Peer pressure from friends?

    I'm not one to judge because all I know is as a human being with empathy, the thought of growing up in poverty or a ghetto, would be hell.

    I'm sorry but I've worked in areas like that and the 'crab's in a barrell' existance is rife! It's potent and it's aggressive.

    I was interviewing this voluntary community worker who fought in her area to get things for the kids, cleaning the streets etc and they literally bullied her into quitting. They use to throw rocks at her house and bullied her child relentlessly.

    This wasn't some council thugs, these were people in her own community turning against her for 'trying to help or find a better way'.

    And when someone leaves...I hear it all the time with parents who say to their kids 'oh, you think your better then us because you want a degree or don't want to eat junk'.

    All the time.

    In our middle class bubbles we quickly forget ALL the other societal issues that effect people living in poverty apart from the capital issue.

    Posted by: Rowan | Apr 30, 2011 9:40:03 AM


  6. "I'm not one to judge because all I know is as a human being with empathy, the thought of growing up in poverty or a ghetto, would be hell."

    Well Rowan I AM one to judge. There are tons of people who grow up in poverty and/or a ghetto who are perfectly respectable solid citzens who wouldn't dream of attacking another human being in so cowardly a fashion.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Apr 30, 2011 9:55:56 AM


  7. Just put them all behind bars where they belong...

    Posted by: chester | Apr 30, 2011 10:16:10 AM


  8. Rin, how old is your liberal anti-gay friend?

    The truth is, though, that most non-religious folks are not anti-gay, especially the younger you get, because they realize most of the anti-gay arguments aren't based on logic. Some atheists are anti-gay, those are the ones who have been culturally programmed into it. Some religious people against marriage equality don't have an issue with homosexuality, and some who are for marriage equality do. Ultimately, homophobia is a cultural thing more than ANYTHING else, not religion, not nature, not social. Certain cultures are more homophobic, some less, some little to none. Some familial cultures are more homophobic than others.

    People want to make this about race, but it isn't. It's about a culture that teaches that gay men are weak, cowardly, and deserving of shame and attacks against us. Inner-city culture is extremely hyper-masculine and aggressive, even the women. These people are bitter, angry at the world, and usually self-hating. So when people want to turn this issue into a racial one, guess what, white people also gay bash. Race doesn't determine it. Instead, the main indicators are a history of violence and crime, education levels, financial levels, and familial cultures. So, if you want to stop these hate crimes, it's clear what needs to be done. We need to clean the streets of the trash that litters it.

    Posted by: Francis | Apr 30, 2011 10:29:39 AM


  9. The guys arrested look like real winners. They'll be spending time where they truly belong - behind bars! They obviously don't know how to act in civilized society. I'm sick of people who make attacking others a sport. They all probably thought this was fun, beating someone up and then getting away with it.

    Posted by: deanybeany | Apr 30, 2011 10:46:07 AM


  10. Thankfully members of the public helped put an end to this gang of homophobic thugs...and in South Carolina, too. Hopefully they'll be off the streets for a long time to think about their hateful and hurtful actions. Good ridance.

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | Apr 30, 2011 12:07:09 PM


  11. All five of 'em look gay to me.

    Well, if they aren't they'll learn to be in prison.

    Posted by: Danny | Apr 30, 2011 12:57:32 PM


  12. @ HADENOUGHBS: Well said, dude: how times have changed that "average" South Carolinians aren't willing to sit still for a gay-bashing.

    As more and more of us come out and our families, friends and communities know who we are the less and less comfortable they will be with the hate directed at gay people.

    Many in the republican party are finding that out at this very moment. Ken Mehlman's coming out doesn't mean all that much to many people: for most he's a barely (if at all) remembered name now; but when it's your son, your nephew, your aunt, your sister, your father or mother, it's a lot harder to make the hatred stick.

    Posted by: Danny | Apr 30, 2011 1:01:50 PM


  13. @ Rin,

    I agree with your sentiments concerning not prejudging people based on their race or the region where they live. However, I think your comment about atheists and Christians is disingenuous. Their is nothing about atheism, per se, which leads to homophobia, but bible-based Christianity, per se, *does* lead to homophobia. The atheist you mentioned was just parroting the sexual taboos that he absorbed from his family and other Christians that he grew up with. The Christianist worldview (as well as fundamentalist Islam) is a primary cause of homophobia today. Think it through again.

    Posted by: Phil | Apr 30, 2011 2:07:18 PM


  14. I don't think this is a hate crime. It is just classic ignorant and violent ghetto behavior. It's rooted the same ghetto attitude that caused the attack in MacDonald's and the many unprovoked attacks reported here on Towleroad. It's a black thing.

    Posted by: Modern Meet | Apr 30, 2011 2:29:12 PM


  15. "It's a black thing."

    Thank you Donald Trump.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Apr 30, 2011 4:02:11 PM


  16. @Rowan,

    Rowan, I grew up a 'poor' urban youth. I NEVER jumped anyone for $, never snatched any old lady's purse, never ordered food delivered, then ambushed the delivery person, never attacked a cabbie, etc., etc. Those who do such things can't blame poverty for their bad behavior. Selling drugs I understand, maybe even bank robbery, but the other street crime mentioned are inexcusable, especially since the victims are usually just as 'poor' as the perps.

    Truth is many black folks [NOT ALL] are racist, are raised to hate whites [and others] , are heavily influenced by black 'radical' ideologies that are race and hate based, and they feel no remorse for being violent predators, including victimizing their own community, which is the most common violent crime in urban communities. Black on black violent crime is the most common type of violent crime in urban communities.

    It is what it is.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 30, 2011 4:13:42 PM


  17. Animals.

    Posted by: Rodney Wollam | Apr 30, 2011 4:57:51 PM


  18. Where is the outrage at those whose "creative" impulses have now produced a porn site whose theme is black on white male violence and anal rape? I've avoided giving any page views to this abomination, but recently learned of its existence. I'd bet that the creator(s) are caucasian, and I'd also bet black teens know of this crap and view it. The existence of filth like the referenced site can only bring more outrages in the future.

    Posted by: Contrarian | Apr 30, 2011 6:01:10 PM


  19. 99% of inter-racial gay porn is black guys dominating and humiliating white 'boys'.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 30, 2011 6:19:08 PM


  20. Thank you Ratbastard.

    Posted by: Modern Meet | Apr 30, 2011 7:09:28 PM


  21. @contrarian: Are you referring to itsgonnahurt.com? I *love* that site!!

    Posted by: peterparker | Apr 30, 2011 8:11:08 PM


  22. So just what is your point RATBASTARD?

    Posted by: David R. | Apr 30, 2011 10:09:36 PM


  23. Smiling in the mug shots.

    Yeah, that's a good plan.

    Posted by: Randy | Apr 30, 2011 10:52:09 PM


  24. @David R,

    Just because you enjoy being abused and humiliated by rough-trade doesn't mean all gay men do, David. Not surprising you're a soft, sensitive type either.

    But of course we're discussing an assault in South Carolina here, not me or you.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 30, 2011 11:10:40 PM


  25. RFirst, the truth is that most bigots are Euro-Americans (because there are more of them) and that bigotry, racism and misogyny are woven into the very fabric of American society.

    Second, these people should be prosecuted and punished but current gate crimes laws, unless they're not specifically and pointedly aimed at providing easy prosecution and harsh punishments for cult and political bigots simply miss the point. The current hate crimes laws were crafted to ignore the origins and instrumentalities of bigotry. Beyond that, hate crimes laws will always be ineffective in a society ruled by the rich who rely on bigotry to stay in power.

    Violence against GLBT folks, people of color, immigrants and women is, first and foremost, an instrument of rightwing violence meant to bully people into submission. Bigoted violence, including the kind of harassment that leads to suicides, are products of a centuries long attempt by the rich to deflect the anger of those they victimize. One of the key goals of bigots is to divide working people and set them at one another's throats.

    The origin of widespread bigotry and hate crimes is the incessant repetition of anti-LGBT propaganda by superstitious cults, especially abrahamic judaists, islamists and christers. Beyond that, although many are afraid to say so, bigotry and its attendant violence is condoned and encouraged by rightist politicians like Obama and most congressmembers who'd deny our right to marriage based on cult beliefs that skygod jebuz is 'in the mix' and who REFUSE to pass inclusive ENDA or CRA laws and to repeal Bill Clintons DOMA.

    If we're not equal then it's easier to justify violence against us. Inequality is a very dangerous condidtion to be in.

    We won't be able to deal with violence in any meaningful way if we're in the swamp - in the same political parties as the bigots. Like unions and others currently under the gun the way forward will have to begin with a combination of independent political action and organized self defense.

    In the final analysis bigotry and violence can't be solved by parties like the Democrats or Republicans whose allegiance is to the rich, not to working people in all our diversity.

    Posted by: Bill Perdue | May 1, 2011 3:32:27 AM


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