Sydney teenagers arrested and charged with attacking gay men
NSW Police have arrested two teenagers for allegedly carrying out brazen homophobic attacks in the city of Sydney.
According to ABChomosexual victims were shocked, beaten and degraded on February 6.
Trigger Warning: This story contains details of homophobic attacks that may be distressing to some readers. For 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or live chat.
Attack on Waterloo
On February 6, at approximately 8:30 a.m., a 24-year-old man was assaulted in Waterloo while waiting at the bus stop at the corner of Bourke and McEvoy streets.
The teenagers asked the man if he was gay, and when he answered “yes”, he was shot in the face, chest and eyes.
A passerby who tried to intervene and stop the teenagers from fleeing was threatened with bodily harm.
The second victim, a 19-year-old man, was driving past Oaks Sydney Castlereagh Suites in Haymarket at around 9pm the same day when a black Volkswagen pulled up.
One of the teenagers in the car again asked the man if he was gay. When the man said “yes”, one of the teenagers jumped up and attacked the man, leaving him with major bruises on his face.
A friend of the man, a 20-year-old woman, tried to intervene but was pelted with eggs before the teenagers fled.
The second attack was captured by CCTV and police were able to locate the attackers at their homes in Bankstown and Greenacre.
The boys, aged 16 and 17, have been arrested and face charges including “fighting, scuffle, assault causing actual bodily harm and assault”.
Detective Superintendent Rohan Cramsie said ‘Police will allege the motivation was bias and we are really asking the community to come forward and help us – we cannot solve these issues alone.’
“That kind of thing just can’t be tolerated,” he told the ABC.
Attacks occur weeks before Mardi Gras season
The attacks came weeks before Mardi Gras season and amid national debates over the Religious Discrimination Bill. According to Dr Christopher Pepin-Neff, a senior lecturer at the University of Sydney who has focused on LGBTQI politics, “the heightened public prominence of trans and queer issues may lead to an increase in violence, whether it is be it postal voting and marriage equality or religious discrimination. Bill and the Mardi Gras season.
“Certain types of people surface when LGBTQI issues are in the news and the issues are available because they have a grudge or feel gay people owe them something. It’s a sad reality but a reminder that Tuesday Gras was a protest against an enduring prejudice.
Last week, Victoria police attacked six teenagers aged 14 to 19 for allegedly carrying out homophobic attacks on gay men in Melbourne. The boys posed as adults on dating apps to lure gay people into parks in Ashwood, a suburb about 14 kilometers from Melbourne CBD, then assaulted them.
If you feel distressed while reading the story, you can contact support services.
For 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention, call Lifeline on 13 11 14
For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or live chat.