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Gay Texas Man Brutally Beaten After Meeting Stranger on Social Networking App: VIDEO


Arron Keahey, a 24-year-old gay man from Springtown in north Texas, was brutally beaten over Labor Day weekend after meeting a stranger using the social networking app MeetMe. Eighteen-year-old Brice Johnson has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault, causing serious bodily injury.

T B_johnsonhe attack is being investigated as a possible hate crime, KENS5 reports:

Keahey, 24, said his first contact with the 18-year-old suspect was on a phone app called MeetMe. Keahey said he went over to the teen's house about an hour later.

The Labor Day attack left Keahey with broken facial bones that required plastic surgery. He also suffered nerve damage and had some teeth knocked out.

Keahey is gay, and said he went to the teen's house in Springtown thinking he was either gay or bisexual. He said the ambush happened immediately.

"He started getting all frustrated and talking all angrily," Keahey said. "I don't remember anything after that."

Police said they received a 911 call from 18-year-old Brice Johnson, who told officers he found Keahey outside his house in the trunk of a car. Johnson said he drove Keahey to get medical help.

Neither Keahey and Johnson can recall much about the details of the attack, police say, though Keahey says it was a hate crime:

"Why would they have you under the belief that they're gay or bisexual or whatever they say you are, and have them show up and do what they did?"

Watch the KENS5 report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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    Posted by: Shannon | Sep 23, 2013 11:11:13 PM

  2. This is a general comment and not a condemnation of the victim.

    This is why we have bars, people. In bars you can meet people in a place where there is safety in numbers. There is a certain weeding out process simply because it's a gay bar, and there are more eyes on the subject. In a gay bar, you can tell if someone is known to others and you can see how they interact with people socially.

    Meeting people online isn't all that different from hitch hiking.

    Posted by: Hagatha | Sep 24, 2013 12:17:50 AM

  3. Hetero wanted to beat up a gay man. Heterosexuals seek out gay people to attack. Remember, Matthew Shepard's killer went to a gay bar (to find gay men to prey on) and found 5'4" Matthew Shepard. Just like with Matthew Shepard and 98% of anti-gay hate crimes the heterosexual attacker is younger than the victim. Heterosexuals expect gay people to be weak, not to have any knowledge of self-defense, and to have a naive notion of safety. The first thing gay people need to do is not ignore looking at these stories and stop thinking these things can't be categorized. Roaches run when the lights are on. If gay people were educated on the hostility they face the number of attacks would decrease somewhat.

    Posted by: Billy Crytical | Sep 24, 2013 12:27:18 AM

  4. Stranger sex can be extremely dangerous.

    Posted by: Adam | Sep 24, 2013 12:28:26 AM

  5. The Labor Day attack... and it's just now news? Must've been a slow news day.

    Posted by: C. Foley | Sep 24, 2013 12:38:16 AM

  6. Makes the bath house seem like a really smart safe and sane place to meet guys. No concealed weapons, that's for sure.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Sep 24, 2013 1:32:11 AM

  7. Both of the people mentioned in the article have priors.

    Posted by: Hagatha | Sep 24, 2013 1:49:48 AM

  8. So this guy goes to meet a total stranger for sex. If it had been a "success" he would have had an orgasm with someone who didn't give a crap about him and about whom he didn't give a crap. That would have been the best outcome. The worst outcome is what actually happened.

    Anyone with 2 functioning brain cells can see that this is not a good way to live. It is harmful on so many levels. And what are the alternatives immediately suggested by 2 Towleroad commenters above? Why, one suggests picking up strangers for sex in bars. And the other suggests bathhouses.

    Here's a crazy thought. Maybe, just maybe, we can consider that the vast majority of humanity does not go years and decades having sex with a continuous stream of complete strangers. Just maybe, we can realize that this isn't working for us. We can play it up as fun, radical, non-heteronormative or whatever. But at the end of the day, and on average, it leaves us more prone to violence, disease, substance abuse, depression, loneliness, and stress. It's not good.

    The solution is not to switch venues for our loveless, impersonal hookups. The solution is to stop thinking of behavior like this as a normal part of life and to start connecting with people as people, not as bodies.

    Posted by: Seth | Sep 24, 2013 3:17:21 AM

  9. To SETH: You are SPOT ON. Thanks for your sober thoughts on this subject.

    Posted by: Bill Michael | Sep 24, 2013 3:47:27 AM

  10. @ Seth: I think the subject of "How Should Gay Men Conduct Their Relationships?" really is a topic that should be SEPARATE from this *atrocious violence*.

    NO ONE deserves this kind of violence. Not for anonymous sex...and not in domestic violence (w/ a longtime "people as people" partner) either!

    Posted by: JCF | Sep 24, 2013 5:20:05 AM

  11. A couple of thoughts...

    1. If you are going to meet someone that you don't know, meet in a public place that has plenty of other people and meet during the day. (It does NOT have to be a gay bar or any kind of bar, Hagatha. That's totally old school.)

    2. Let someone else that you trust know you are going to meet this person, where and when.

    3. Meet the person at least three times in public (Gee, how about a real date for a change, you know, with food?) before having sex with them or going to their home or having them to your home.

    4. Use protection if you have sex.

    If the four items above are followed, meeting guys is safe, easy and actually nice for a change instead of unsafe, difficult and dangerous. It's 2013, stuff like this should not happen any longer.

    Using the above methods in 1993 and 1994, I met plenty of very nice people, one of which is my partner of 18 years now.

    I'm not making ANY excuses for the violence, but taking precautions can help you avoid getting yourself beat up or killed. Life doesn't have to be on the down-low, folks.

    Posted by: johnny | Sep 24, 2013 6:09:20 AM

  12. As a priest buddy of mine puts it, never underestimate the power of the closet.

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Sep 24, 2013 6:47:18 AM

  13. @Billy Crystal, these guys are *not* heteros. This is the Closet Effect, straight up and pathologized. Heterosexual men could care less about expending all this energy on gay men. They're busy with what they've busy with--which, ordinarily, is women--NOT gay men.

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Sep 24, 2013 6:50:08 AM

  14. Antigay violence is on the rise again in the US and it is entirely and solely due to the efforts of cult leaders of the roman, mormon, pentecostal and other cults and to the Democrats and Republicans who ceaselessly pander to them.

    Democrats and Republicans can't and won't stop the violence but socialist will.

    Posted by: Bill Perdue | Sep 24, 2013 6:56:48 AM

  15. I would be very surprised if some horrible meth-based drug were not a part of this "hook up". Neither one of them remembers what happened? One ends up in the trunk of a car? What is that? We're talking about a drug deal gone bad not about a meaningless sex meet up. Yes, we gays need to be more aware of our surroundings and more cautious if we are to participate in these type hook-ups. Keahey went to this teen's house, not a park, not some alley. On the chance we might be looking for something more meaningful in our relationships, meeting in public several times beforehand is a great idea. This plainly wasn't about sex as far as the teen was concerned as much as some mean drug. We're definitely not getting the whole story here. And since it's Towleroad we probably won't ever get the follow-up to it either.

    Posted by: JT | Sep 24, 2013 7:41:20 AM

  16. @SETH -- Your internalized homophobia is deafening! Blame the victim. "Anyone with 2 functioning brain cells can see that this is not a good way to live." Anyone with 2 functioning brain cells would know when they'd officially entered Kapoville. What's next, will you get a job with NOM or the FRC to denounce "the gay lifestyle?" People have casual sex all over this country every day. Most of them are heterosexuals. While I agree that we should all try to be as safe as possible when meeting a stranger, no one deserves to be beaten to a pulp for reaching out for human contact.

    "The solution is to stop thinking of behavior like this as a normal part of life and to start connecting with people as people, not as bodies." It IS part of life.
    We're sexual beings. Sex is an important part of many people's lives. When you're a gay man in a rural part of the country, oftentimes there aren't that many options available to you. Again, I must reiterate -
    HE DID NOT DESERVE TO BE BEATEN TO A PULP for wanting to be loved. Interestingly, not once do you question the motives of the attacker; wonder why he did what he did.
    How about you crawl back under your self-loathing rock and let the adults get on with our lives.

    Posted by: Gigi | Sep 24, 2013 9:23:48 AM

  17. @HAGATHA -- "Both of the people mentioned in the article have priors." I have a prior. Does that mean I deserve to be beaten to a pulp?

    Posted by: Gigi | Sep 24, 2013 9:25:36 AM

  18. Now I understand why people call this site Trollroad. Disgusting.

    Posted by: Gigi | Sep 24, 2013 9:26:17 AM

  19. I still don't see how this qualifies as a possible hate crime. It sounds more like a hookup that went extremely bad. If anything it sounds like the 18 year old is probably suffering from some sort of mental illness, since he was already staying in a home for troubled teens.

    Posted by: Edmund | Sep 24, 2013 9:38:14 AM

  20. There is WAY more to this story. Drugs.

    Posted by: Stephen | Sep 24, 2013 10:52:12 AM

  21. GiGi - No, it doesn't mean that you deserve to be beaten. A woman who dresses like a whore, gets drunk, and wander into the ghetto doesn't deserve to be raped- but she did participate in the violence which she found. The priors on these two men suggest that there was more than " a hook up" going on. If Meth was involved, and if the victim knew that, then he also participated in the violence which he found. It's called Taking Responsibility, and it really rubs a lot of people the wrong way because they have been taught that the world is what happens to them, not what they make happen.

    Posted by: Hagatha | Sep 24, 2013 11:06:57 AM

  22. Obviously not a clear cut situation going on. The guy took a horrible beating. But the whole story as told is silly and much is left out. Both men claim they can't remember what happened? OK, in Mr. Keahey's case that could happen with a concussion. The perp claimed he found Keahey in the trunk of a car in front of the home he's living at, and took him to the ER? Both have priors involving illegal street drugs? C'mon, the title "GAY TEXAS MAN BRUTALLY BEATEN AFTER MEETING STRANGER ON SOCIAL NETWORKING APP" is disingenuous ... but eye catching.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Sep 24, 2013 11:39:51 AM

  23. I love the rationality that an online meetup is "hitchhiking" but meeting a one-night stand at a gay bar is perfectly safe. Are you SERIOUS? I have met 2 dozen guys through online apps. The trick to weeding out most of the unstable people is to try and have a conversation with them. You don't meet them after a half hour or an hour. And meeting someone for an hour at a gay bar is ALSO not a good way to find out if someone's stable or not. Then again, when I go online to meet a guy, I actually talk to them for a few weeks, and most of the guys on those apps don't know how to talk. I consider that a red flag, and I've met unbelievably wonderful people just following that rule -- talk to me first.

    I am surprised, though, that the 18 year old did this in "his" (obviously his parents') home. Overwhelmingly these attacks happen outside or in the victim's home.

    Posted by: Robert | Sep 24, 2013 12:05:13 PM

  24. This is why threesomes are safer.

    Posted by: anon | Sep 24, 2013 12:09:17 PM

  25. "Gigi," don't confuse lust with love.

    Posted by: Sean Maloney | Sep 24, 2013 12:19:02 PM

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