Crime | South Carolina

Watch: Gay Teen Attacked By Mob In South Carolina

Openly gay teen Joshua Esskew was attacked by a mob at a gas station in Rock Hill, South Carolina last week. The 19-year-old said that the attack started with an anti-gay slur in which he was the target. He was then hit in the head with a beer bottle by an assailant and attacked by several other people who came at him from all angles.

 WCNC reports on the attack:

Mob"I responded with, 'What was that you said?' But nothing offensive toward them," Esskew said, describing the encounter. Surveillance video from the store shows a man hitting Esskew over the head with a beer bottle. "Three came up from the gas pumps. Two came up toward the Laundromat. There were three or four already standing there. They all just came," Esskew said. Investigators say a mob rushed to join in the attack just because they could. "Once they saw the fight occur, they did decide to take the opportunity to jump in and become violent," said Lt. Mike Baker with the York County Sheriff's Office. Security cameras caught close-ups of two of the eight men involved. "I believe it was a hate crime," said Esskew, who spent two days in a hospital because of the attack. "I don't have any hate in my heart toward any one of those guys. I believe justice does need to be served. I just really wish they would realize how good of a person they did this to."

Esskew was hospitalized and treated for broken blood vessels on his right-eye, cuts on his head and bleeding on his brain.

Watch a news report about the incident from WBTV as well as the shocking video surveillance footage, AFTER THE JUMP.

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  1. but LGBT doesn't need "special" protections under the law, right?

    Posted by: EO | Apr 16, 2011 10:57:14 AM

  2. Racist comments that SOMEHOW get past Andy in 3...2...1...

    Posted by: RW | Apr 16, 2011 10:58:13 AM

  3. makes me sad, makes me angry, blah blah blah. I feel like a broken record commenting on these attacks that happen seemingly all the time. I hear "things are getting better" but are they, really? Just depressing.

    Oh yeah, commence South Carolina bashing and racism in the comments thread, lowering yourselves to their level in the process (rolls eyes).

    Posted by: Leo | Apr 16, 2011 11:00:16 AM

  4. South Carolina doesn't have a hate crimes law, so this is the ideal instance to use the federal law, the Matthew Shepard Act. Gay, straight, bi...all kinds of people need to make enough noise so that the federal hate crimes law is applied here.

    Posted by: Phil | Apr 16, 2011 11:07:47 AM

  5. seems like it began as a homophobic attack but all those joining the melee' had not way of knowing that. It morphed into a very ugly racist scene after that.

    Having said that, I dont know where such swine thing they prove their manhood by beating up one guy who turns out to be a faggot.

    I grew up only a few miles from where this took place and I gotta say--I freakin' hate the South; but we got plenty of racist/homophobic ugly right here in New York City.

    Posted by: Danny | Apr 16, 2011 11:10:52 AM

  6. Awful. We need to fight back, our own way. Gays just cannot watch this and do nothing. We have every right to walk hand in hand, kiss etc in a public. Society needs a change.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Apr 16, 2011 11:15:34 AM

  7. @ Danny:

    You raise an interesting point that I was wondering about myself. How could the others who joined the initial attack have know the victim was gay? IF the initial attacker shouted that information to the others and it spread through the crowd, then it was purely homophobic rather than racist. But that's IF. Only an investigation will reveal the answer.

    Posted by: Phil | Apr 16, 2011 11:19:45 AM

  8. How weak. One against.......?

    Posted by: Rowan | Apr 16, 2011 11:29:37 AM

  9. But... but... but... it's NOM's allies on the right who are under threat! The good, moral, and law-abiding people who are getting harassed and attacked for nothing more than trying to "protect marriage". Right??? They have a monopoly on victimhood so how can this be???

    Sorry, I couldn't help myself but whenever I hear about something like this, it makes me want to throw a pity party for NOM and their allies who don't have a clue what real intimidation, harassment, and (often violent) victimization are like.

    Posted by: John B. | Apr 16, 2011 11:40:44 AM

  10. hate crimes law will not change the culture

    Posted by: Chris | Apr 16, 2011 11:57:43 AM

  11. So many delusional and/or naive people. A black gay man would have like-wise been jumped, but the fact the victim is white is icing on the cake. Racism and racist violence is a problem in the U.S., but it's mostly black on white not the other way around.


    I'm well aware of course the leftist and 'Progressive' among you in particular will waste no opportunity to bash the U.S. and Americans. As far as black populations in America, Canada, Europe, the UK are concerned, the U.S. has by far the largest black population at 13% of the population [some southern states and states that border the south like Maryland have black populations at 20-30%, and majority black cities], but the further west and north you go, the black population declines dramatically. By comparison the UK, Canada are roughly 1-2% black.What I'm getting at is Euros, Brits, Canadians have zero business lecturing Americans about race and diversity, just like they have zero business lecturing Brazilians or South Africans.

    South Carolina is one of the top ten most violent American states. South Carolina has a black population 30.01% black, and black males commit the majority of violent crimes in S. Carolina. In fact, all of the top ten most violent states have the same thing in common: they have unusually large 'Minority' populations, especially black. The most violent cities like wise have very large or majority black populations.

    The top ten least violent American states have all like wise something in common. Anyone want to guess what that is?

    Why do we have to play these stupid games and beat around the bush in 2011? Only very naive, ignorant or retarded people can't put 2 and 2 together.

    Posted by: pretty rat boy | Apr 16, 2011 12:01:08 PM

  12. Guys, @rw, please do not encourage people to post racist comments. Those who post them will simply have them unpublished if they appear and or/be BANNED from commenting on the site. I regret that some comments do get by us, and that is because we depend on you to alert us at tips@ I try to keep this as open a forum as possible, but I do not have the time to monitor the 23, 670 posts that are on this blog. Please alert us to racist trolls, flamethrowing, etc. Thanks.

    Posted by: Andy Towle | Apr 16, 2011 12:02:09 PM

  13. Although I must say he doesn't look like he was that badly beaten judging by his face and a single black eye. I've been in fights where I sustained much worse injuries.

    Posted by: pretty rat boy | Apr 16, 2011 12:04:38 PM

  14. Also @RW, the insinuation you're making with the comment that racist comments SOMEHOW get by me, as if I somehow approve of them, is disgusting.

    Posted by: Andy Towle | Apr 16, 2011 12:04:43 PM

  15. "I freakin' hate the South; but we got plenty of racist/homophobic ugly right here in New York City."

    Yeah, racism/homophobia exists in NYC too, for sure, but you also have Schumer and Gillibrand as your very gay-friendly Senators, whereas SC has anti-gay Lindsi Graham and Jim DeMint, who wants to fire all gay school teachers. In SC, it is not just isolated pockets of homophobia, it is more institutionalized.

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Apr 16, 2011 12:06:21 PM

  16. RW,
    You sicken me!
    Not only can you not wait to pounce and use the race-card, your comment encourages the use of racist nonsense.

    Why don't you at least wait until some moron makes a racist comment before you make a fool out of yourself.

    Posted by: Latrelle | Apr 16, 2011 12:26:00 PM

  17. Pretty rat boy/Ratbastard/RaceBaiter:

    "I've been in fights where I sustained much worse injuries"

    Would you pls unpack that statement? Sounds to me like you are a PTSD sufferer who was beat down, perhaps by a group that included some blacks and now you are blinded with racism.

    The main problem with your "analyses" is that you lack depth. You try to insinuate that blacks have a genetic propensity to violence. The fact of the matter is, even if your numbers are true, violence is socially (not genetically) produced. It is produced by things like the quality of one's upbringing, role models (or lack thereof), and even the quality of the prenatal environment.

    Please...READ A BOOK! No one deserves to be violently attacked, but comments like yours tempt me to think otherwise.

    Posted by: redball | Apr 16, 2011 12:28:09 PM

  18. RW is no fool. I didn't know what he was talking about until I saw the video...and then I too knew that the racist comments would be a-comin'.

    Posted by: redball | Apr 16, 2011 12:30:21 PM

  19. Redball,

    You are both fools!

    Posted by: Tank | Apr 16, 2011 12:36:02 PM

  20. I think this is a partial hate crime, but I don't think that gay was the lone intent of why they beat him, because I've seen these types of thugs beating anyone, for any reason. I think that the gay angle started the situation, but I guess they felt like he was being "fresh" by not being a coward. Thugs like this, who are insecure, feed on weakening others to feel strong, and beat you if you don't back down to them. They looked at this young white gay dude, and tried to intimidate him, and they probably thought he "talking back" to them was instigating the situation. Of course, what we don't know is if they shouted out that he was gay, or if these other dudes just jumped in because they saw a fight.

    This isn't a race issue. People don't commit crimes because of the color of their skin solely. This is a cultural issue. And it's one that has been a long time coming, and sometime soon needs to be addressed, because gay people and really all innocents are in the line of fire.

    Posted by: Francis | Apr 16, 2011 12:37:21 PM

  21. @Tank: Fools who perfectly predicted human nature? Thanks! Pls consult your nearest dictionary...fool.

    Posted by: redball | Apr 16, 2011 12:39:06 PM

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