Crime | News | Texas

Gay Man Stabbed, Beaten, Burned in Hate Crime in Rural Texas


The Dallas Voice has the details of a hideous hate crime that happened on Sunday, in Reno, Texas:

BurnBurke Burnett said he was at a private party at about 1 a.m. when four men suddenly attacked him, stabbing him at least twice with a broken beer bottle before throwing him onto a fire. His attackers yelled things like “pussy-ass faggot,” “gay bitch” and “c*ck-sucking punk,” Burnett said.

Burnett said it took 30 stitches to close stab wounds to his back and forearm, as well as a cut above his left eye. He also sustained second-degree burns and severe bruises.

“They knew I was gay,” Burnett said Monday. “I’m convinced they were trying to kill me.”

Jeff Sugg, interim chief of the Reno Police Department, released a statement Monday afternoon saying: “The Reno Police Department is currently investigating an aggravated assault that took place last weekend. The investigation is ongoing and additional information will be provided when available.”

Burnett says he knows his attackers and was heckled at the party before the assailants began throwing punches. He is staying with a friend and says he's scared to go home, and scared it will "get brushed under the rug" in his small conservative town.

Many more details at the link below.

Gay man stabbed, thrown onto fire in hate crime in Reno, TX [dallas voice]

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  1. You can help make sure this doesn't just go away:

    Contact the Reno, TX Police Department

    Their "contact us" form:

    Posted by: Mike | Oct 31, 2011 8:00:54 PM

  2. WQell it sounds like our friend with the

    "n-word head hunting grounds strikes again."

    Remember the James Byrd dragging death, courtesy of the KKK, so strong in W, texas

    the tea party at work again. Their words kill so many, Just like hitler = they get aholes to do the dirty work.

    Posted by: billy wingarten | Oct 31, 2011 8:12:19 PM

  3. The same thing would happen in this Reno that I live at (Reno Nv). If it's gay the conservatives will turn the other way. There has been serveral gay bashing here but the idiot they have for a DA here says it "inconculsive" that it was a gay bashing.

    Posted by: macmantoo | Oct 31, 2011 9:13:47 PM

  4. Take a look Taylor(A-list Dallas) this is a real hate crime.
    Just get a couple of your rethug friends to beat and stab you and you can fake this too.

    Posted by: doug105 | Oct 31, 2011 9:25:19 PM

  5. Texans want out of the Union so why don't we just let them leave and become a part of Mexico.....What did you say? Mexico dosen't want them back? We're stuck with them? Then, just let them be their own country; But, make sure we build a good high electric fence so none of them can sneak back into the US.

    Posted by: Jerry6 | Oct 31, 2011 9:55:33 PM

  6. Everyone should check into the internet site for Reno Texas and post a comment to the city attorney, mayors office or the chief of police.

    Let them know that the world is watching...

    If you care what is happening, then respond and tell them that this isn't the 1950's anymore that the KKK isn't in charge.

    Posted by: George Deeming | Oct 31, 2011 9:56:00 PM

  7. A trigger warning/after the jump would have been nice! Now I'm shaking, alone in my room :(

    Posted by: Jesus | Oct 31, 2011 10:06:17 PM

  8. It's time for gay men to start packing heat or carrying bear spray. We need to start teaching these low-lives a lesson. We should also be taking classes to learn how to kick ass in the event of a one-on-one fight.

    Posted by: Justin | Oct 31, 2011 10:23:41 PM

  9. First of all, I 100% agree with Justin. All LGBT individuals, if you're going out at night, especially if you're alone, and ESPECIALLY if you're living in a conservative/dangerous area, need to have a phone on them where they can call police if they suspect danger or are in a potentially violent situation. Also we should all carry pepper spray, a pocket knife, brass knuckles, something where you have some sort of protection in case something like this happens.

    Secondly, let me say how horrific this incident truly is. These insane homophobes don't view gay people as human at all. It's shocking how much unbridled hatred they have towards gay people. My best wishes go out to the victim and his friends who are obviously very scared and fear for their lives. I can only hope the police force in this rural town take this incident seriously, and that's where we come in. We need to put pressure on the police force and leaders of this town and let them know eyes are on them .

    Lastly, I have to say, tragically, hate crimes do happen everywhere. The difference is they are more random in the more accepting areas, they're taken more seriously and the reaction to the incidents are generally swift and stern, and people are more likely to report hate incidents in accepting areas. Reno NV is conservative as well so no surprise about what's going on there if true. Being gay in conservative areas is hell, my thoughts honestly go out to all LGBTQ individuals in these situations. The constant fear and insecurity must be so hard to live with.

    Posted by: Francis | Nov 1, 2011 12:05:38 AM

  10. Tex, you just crawled away from your second World Series in a row with your tail between your legs. Your entire state is one dessicated, parched fireball-waiting-to-ignite due to your 2-year long drought. Rick Perry is the short-bus George Bush (it's only in Texas that that isn't an oxymoron). Face it, Lone Star. Your a-hole sky-god hates you, and you are ALL headed for H. E. double hockey stick. And all the n! ggers and fags you've killed will be looking down on you from heaven and laughing their asses off as your anuses are stuffed with burning pitch.

    Posted by: Christopher | Nov 1, 2011 12:50:49 AM

  11. Ugh. Anyone who makes broad statements about Texas or Texans are just as bad as the Texans in this state who make bigoted statements about Californians and whoever. It comes from the tendency to lump whole groups and nations of people together like they were ants, obliterating important distinctions -- like the rural/urban divide, and the fact that this is a case of a gay Texan being victimized by other Texans -- and generally behaving just as bad as the people they think they're railing against.

    The consequence of this also contributes to the problem of homophobia in my state. Whenever I read someone say Texas needs to be walled off from the rest of the country, I have to ask: what about the hundreds of thousands of gay people living here? Are we just supposed to fend for ourselves or flee? Where's the solidarity? Instead of mouthing off, why don't you do something constructive? For one, maybe you could start to build connections with your gay friends in Texas who are trying to stop this kind of thing from happening.

    Posted by: Sam | Nov 1, 2011 1:54:00 AM

  12. I'm from Texas. Born and raised. I will flat out say it. Texas is a backwards place. Run by and for stupid, foolish people. Yes, there are some good people there, but they are a drastic minority.. particularly 'liberal' spots like Austin and the other large cities - an oasis in the desert, but still subject to the wrath of the desert. Anyone that stays there and plays the "I'm trying to change Texas" card is a FOOL. The back woods of Texas, the Hill Country, the rednecks.. they won't be changed and you won't change control through elections there because of the ration. Why sit there and live and claw and fight just to have something resembling a free life in a place where the state government doesn't want you where there are far better places that will welcome you with open arms, where you don't have to look over your shoulder every second, where you aren't heckled for walking through the mall with your boyfriend? But to each their own... live your life being held down...

    Posted by: Joey | Nov 1, 2011 2:39:41 AM

  13. Let's get on to this and not let up. The assailants should be thrown in jail and have their names and addresses published on all websites.

    Posted by: jason | Nov 1, 2011 7:23:23 AM

  14. I am looking forward to Rickgay Perry's response to this VERY serious situation.

    Posted by: AllBeefPatty | Nov 1, 2011 7:58:49 AM

  15. There is a FEDERAL hate crimes statute on the books now. If you are a victim of an attack, report it to local authorities, but then also file a report with the federal authorities. You can find out where by using Google. In the search bar, type in

    "U.S. Attorney office for [the name of your state]."
    Click on the "contact us" tab and call the number listed "to report a crime" or the number listed for the CRIMINAL Division of the U.S. Attorney.

    File a federal report so that they will begin a parallel investigation into your case.

    We need to form our citizen brigades all across this country.

    Posted by: TruthSeeker_Too | Nov 1, 2011 8:40:30 AM

  16. According to the Dallas Voice article, the Reno, TX police department wants to downgrade this to a misdemeanor because it "happened at a party." This is where the federal hate crimes law should kick in. Don't just call the Reno, TX police department; call the U.S. Justice Department. The feds definitely need to "mess with Texas." As long as Texans consent to be part of the Union, they'll accept the authority of the U.S. Justice Department. Take it or leave it.

    Posted by: Artie | Nov 1, 2011 8:42:49 AM

  17. This crap makes me mad. People that does this needs to be shot. There is no sense in hate crimes. Gay men or lesbians or transgenders are people to no matter what they enjoy.

    Posted by: mercedes | Nov 1, 2011 9:29:01 AM

  18. Good to know, Artie, and I'm going to do just that. We again see the mentality when it comes to anti-gay hate crimes in certain areas. I've said this several times, but it's the response to potential anti-gay violence that shows me whether a city supports their gays or not. When a hate crime happens in NYC, Seattle, San Fran, P-town, etc., usually the reaction from the community and police is swift and direct. When a hate crime happens in a place like this, there is either no reaction or the incident is swept under the rug and trivialized.

    I agree with Sam in that denigrating the entire state of Texas is wrong because hate crimes happen everywhere and not all of Texas is bigoted. But, the reality is, a lot of Texas is bigoted. Anti-gay hate crimes are an EXTREMELY common occurrence in hostile, homophobic communities but because people are scared to report crimes nothing is done. I think sometimes people delude themselves into believing things aren't as bad as they really are in many places.

    Posted by: Francis | Nov 1, 2011 9:38:48 AM

  19. This is only an hour from where I live, and the first I hear of it is on this site out of NYC. Ridiculous.

    Reno is one of the more redneck and backwards parts of the state for sure. Were it not for his friend intentionally putting into the Dallas Voice and then other outlets, we would never have heard about it at all.

    Thanks Andy for raising the awareness so more people can pressure the local idiots in Reno.

    Posted by: Bobby | Nov 1, 2011 10:48:20 AM

  20. So, from what I take from some of these comments, as a gay man I have the right to stab, beat and burn any heterosexual woman who makes unwanted sexual advances toward me because they would be an equal form of "harrassment", right?

    Posted by: Andrew Honeylake | Nov 1, 2011 11:36:29 AM

  21. A friend of mine throws a Halloween party behind their house backed up against the woods in rural Texas just a 1/2 hour from Ft Worth. There's hot dogs, burgers & beer every flowing, dueling bonfires on either side of the house. Adults dressed up in costume and generally a good time had by all. I have known most of these folks for 30+ years and even then they talked about me being gay, but not to me. I used to feel safe to attend, however I can see this same thing happening to me if someone I don't know is there and feels threatened by my presence "suspecting" I'm gay. Alcohol & Biblical teachings sometimes create fear when none is justified. With the stories of late, that FIRE seems to be the relative in each doesn't afford me the same comfort level, I no longer attend. I'm not saying everyone is this hatefully angry at gay people for existing, but there are those that I would believe could certainly kill without thought to protect their beliefs in God.

    Posted by: Skooter McGoo | Nov 1, 2011 1:01:41 PM

  22. "On October 28, 2009 President Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which expanded existing United States federal hate crime law to apply to crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability, and dropped the prerequisite that the victim be engaging in a federally protected activity."
    Translation: Call the FBI.

    Posted by: Grego | Nov 1, 2011 2:14:57 PM

  23. I placed Burke Burnett's picture as my profile pic on facebook. I placed the link below it, and sent it to my friends. If they can get Betty White to host SNL, we can get some justice for this guy. It's something I can do, and I encourage everyone who thinks that this is wrong to be active about it.

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Nov 1, 2011 4:16:01 PM

  24. @JOEY

    Texas has changed, though. I don't know if you were here in the 1970s or 1980s but things are measurably better than they were then. Saying that progress is impossible and that people will never change sounds like the most conservative possible position to take. Meanwhile, gay kids are going to keep being born and raised in these rural communities. What you're suggesting is that we abandon them for our own selfish reasons. It's contemptible.

    Posted by: Sam | Nov 1, 2011 11:25:03 PM

  25. What is wrong with people? How cruel. Whatever their sexual preference, its their business and no one elses. they sure don't deserve to be treated this way. maybe they should turn the tables a bit and kick a** on a straight guy. Same difference! Really gets me po'd!

    Posted by: Nancy | Nov 3, 2011 10:43:24 AM

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