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Gay Newfoundland Man Attacked and Left For Dead


Late Thursday night, Patrick Blackburn of St. Johns, Newfoundland, was walking by himself when he was verbally harassed by a group of homophobes. "I heard a bunch of people behind me calling me a fag," he said in a YouTube video. “It didn’t bother me, so I just kept walking. I heard footsteps.” That's the last thing he remembers before waking up in the hospital. At that point, he had received 18 stitches, and suffered damage to his left eye as well as short-term memory loss. 

Shortly therafter, Blackburn took to Facebook and YouTube. Blackburn's Facebook profile photo still depicts him with bandages and an eye patch on his face. One status, which was posted the following day, read:

"Thanks for everyones concern, means a lot - Again Sheldon Steven Burke saved my life a jumping last night - I have short term memory loss - I dont remember NOTHING - a police report has been made on my behalf - I remember walking home seeing 3 guys and waking up in a hospital where the doctors said I lost a lot of blood and i came in unconscious - Battered and brusied and have a HUGE gash on my forehead - I was released shirtly after i woke up..Thanks to staff! Im in a lot of pain and I cannot answer anymore questions about police, hospital, or the assailants. I'm sorry when this comes back to me i'lll let you know. ALSO i could kill for some afraid to close my eyes."  

Blackburn FacebookAnother one displays two rather graphic photos of Blackburn taken just minutes after he was found bleeding in the street. “It’s really scary when somebody tells you that if you weren’t found 10 minutes before you would’ve bled out and died,” he said in his YouTube video, which was later taken down. 

Authorities in St. John are still investigating the anti-gay hate crime. Meanwhile, members of the city's LGBT community are shock and appalled. Noah Davis-Power, president of St. John's Pride, told The Star that: 

“I’ve always thought of St. John’s and Newfoundland as a whole to be pretty safe from that. You have ignorant people like anywhere does, but there’s never been any violence to such a degree towards our community.”

"It makes you wonder; am I going to get beat up when I go downtown if I dress a bit more flamboyantly, or if I'm holding my partner’s hand," he added in a statement to the Huffington Post. Meanwhile, members of Queer Ottawa have also taken to social media, announcing a fundraiser that will be helf this Friday in Blackburn's honor. 

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  1. Here's to a speedy recovery but I am wondering who took those pictures and why would he or she take the time to take those pictures when there is someone there badly beaten. That just seems odd.

    Posted by: Dale | Aug 21, 2013 1:29:36 PM

  2. The photos were probably taken by the person who found's not surprising in this day & age, everyone basically has phone & a youtube account.

    Posted by: marge | Aug 21, 2013 1:39:21 PM

  3. Newfoundland? I hope they catch the perps because I'd be interested to see what type of person turns a safe, peaceful city into a place of fear and hate.

    Posted by: Kev C | Aug 21, 2013 1:49:32 PM

  4. Yes, many people have cameras and social network accounts, but WHY would someone take those pictures? What was the purpose of taking the pictures at that very moment when they just found someone like that?

    Posted by: Dale | Aug 21, 2013 2:19:25 PM

  5. Like Jesus always said, down with the gays, strike first and hard... right?

    Posted by: Michael Heynz | Aug 21, 2013 2:20:37 PM

  6. Perhaps the rescuer thought it was important to document the horrific shape he found that poor young man in. How completely frightening. I hope he has a fast recovery and that they catch the animals who did this.

    Posted by: WayneMPLS | Aug 21, 2013 2:28:14 PM

  7. This may sound crazy to some of you...but I'm not prepared to be a victim of a hate crime without a fight. I never leave my house without protection...which I hope I never need to use. But...I do long for the headline that reads something like this..."gay man shoots & kills homophobic attacker in self defense".
    If there's never any fear of us retaliating...why would they bother to stop?

    Posted by: Paul B. | Aug 21, 2013 2:38:47 PM

  8. These pictures need to be seen by the public. A picture says a thousand words, and does not down play the damage done to these people.

    It is useful to remind all of us to wage war on these coward criminals, where ever they are and who ever they are.

    Posted by: John S | Aug 21, 2013 2:44:04 PM

  9. I bought a gun last month and if anyone comes after me or my partner I will literally blow their heads off. I had no interest in violent confrontation but two of my friends were killed by homophobes.

    Done and done.

    Posted by: David | Aug 21, 2013 3:07:53 PM

  10. "I heard a bunch of people behind me calling me a fag," he said in a YouTube video. “It didn’t bother me, so I just kept walking...

    No one should have to accept being harassed and called the f word when they're simply out walking. And they have every right to be bothered by such incidents. It would p*ss me off big time.

    I hope Mr. Blackburn recovers OK and his fundraiser does well.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 21, 2013 3:16:29 PM

  11. "WHY would someone take those pictures?"

    Taking a photo is a) evidence b) helpful in reminding people that this still goes on. Unless taking the photo was exploitive or endangering anyone, I don't really see what the downside is.

    Posted by: Tranquilo | Aug 21, 2013 3:21:49 PM

  12. I was just telling a friend of mine that I am about to purchase pepper spray, a taser gun, and a gun. I am so tired of hearing about these horrific stories. I wish this beautiful man well on his recovery. It is a shame that someone would hate another person so much as to want to end their life. BUT, if they come for me and mine, they will be handled.

    Posted by: THurts | Aug 21, 2013 3:42:27 PM

  13. Why was the video taken down, and by whom?

    Posted by: Randy | Aug 21, 2013 3:48:23 PM

  14. @ David...I've been around a very long time...never met a gay person that wanted to do someone harm...never read a headline like heterophobic hate crime or heard a "heterophobic slur"... never hurt anyone myself...never want to hurt anyone. But...a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. I'm proud of you!

    Posted by: Paul B. | Aug 21, 2013 3:58:29 PM

  15. @Paul B,

    Violent gay and bi men do exist. So doesn't violent lesbian and bi women.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 21, 2013 4:07:37 PM

  16. It just doesn't make sense to me...
    He never filed a report to the police until after he went to youtube, after he got home, after he wrote all over facebook after he got out of the hospital. It's hospital policy to call the police immediately when these types of incidents are reported. He said in one Facebook post dated Friady that a report had been made on his behalf, but the police had no record of the incident according to one of the more up-to-date news companies in the region.
    Why was he downtown in a bar with his rent money? Why did he send out pleas for cash instead of talking to authorities?
    He removed the youtube video himself. He deleted the original facebook posts from his page...
    I grew up in this city, and the walk from the club he left to where he was attacked takes about 10-15 minutes. It's one of the busiest intersections in the area for cabs, especially around the time when all the bars close.
    I've never been close with the guy, but ran into around town a couple of times. A quick scan of his Facebook gives an interesting impression of his character... While I may be quick to judge, and I'm not denying that this is a tragic incident (especially considering it happened two minutes walk away from where I used to live), it seems like there's a lot more to this story that's missing.

    Posted by: Locke | Aug 21, 2013 4:12:56 PM

  17. He fell down drunk?

    Posted by: Alan Brickman | Aug 21, 2013 4:51:24 PM

  18. @Locke, I'd say most gay bashing victims never report it to police. And if they do, nothing ever happens. Nothing good.

    And whenever you are called a fag by a group of strangers, that is the time to prepare to defend youself. Any sort of weapon, even bottles and garbage are better than nothing. Always try to hurt the attackers. Always.

    Posted by: Kev C | Aug 21, 2013 4:53:04 PM

  19. This particular incident may be suspect...maybe not...I'm not going to determine that from where I sit. The real issue is the constant violence we're subjected to on a daily basis. If we don't stop them ourselves, who will do it for us? The cops?
    The judges? That's clearly not going to happen anytime soon. We get weapons of some kind...even mace, preferable something more permanently effective...and fight back.

    Posted by: Paul B. | Aug 21, 2013 5:27:10 PM

  20. @Rat...I know violent gay men & lesbians exist...but as I said, I've never met one. I'm guessing they exist in such small #'s that I don't often, if ever, see violent incidents perpetrated by gays & lesbians on the news.
    I don't think I've ever heard a gay person yell a derogatory straight slur at a married man & woman on the street. What would that word be? Oh, that's right...there isn't one. Stupid me.

    Posted by: Paul B. | Aug 21, 2013 6:16:34 PM

  21. Same thing happened to me. Called a faggot by a bunch of tough guys, beaten, hospitalized, robbed. Oddly, it never made the papers. Probably because I'm straight.

    Posted by: J_Brisby | Aug 21, 2013 7:21:20 PM

  22. Brisby...oh, I know...those reporters just dismiss the abuse straight endure. It's been like that for year & years. I feel for you.

    Posted by: Johnnybegood | Aug 21, 2013 7:30:17 PM

  23. Arm yourselves, whether you believe this man or not, this sort of thing happens in the Castro, DuPont Circle, West Hollywood, Rehoboth Beach, Miami Beach, Wilton Manors, etc... If it can happen there it can happen anywhere.

    Posted by: Hagatha | Aug 21, 2013 9:17:01 PM

  24. @Loche,

    You make some good points. Good post. Now I know more and I too now question what exactly happened. And yes, it is kind of strange how he's asking for $, and even said he needed some company and was afraid to go to sleep by himself. There are red flags here.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 22, 2013 9:30:43 AM

  25. Pictures would be taken by the police and/or hospital workers. If I found someone bloodied and slumped over the steering wheel of a car it wouldn't even cross my mind to take pictures for evidence or anything else. The only thing that I would be doing is calling the police and be there for the victim assuring him/her as best as I could.

    Posted by: Dale | Aug 22, 2013 10:30:39 AM

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