A 20-year-old man was brutally attacked at suburban Buffalo, New York mall on New Year's Day by two young women. Witnesses says he was attacked because he was perceived to be gay, although he is straight, and authorities will charge the assailants with a hate crime.
Eighteen-year-old Joy Darden and 19-year-old Deonna Burnett are charged with beating and attacking the man with pepper spray in the mall parking lot. The fathers of both suspects claim the young women and the victim "have known each other for years" and the incident was "not" a hate crime.
The victim's family says otherwise: "They were yelling gay slurs", the victim's mother, Michelle Hamilton, tells WKBW. The Cheektowaga Police Department adds that it has recovered evidence to support a hate crime took place, including a note on the victim's vandalized car "containing anti-gay slurs." The case was sent to a grand jury for review for the enhanced hate crime penalties.
This was the second anti-gay attack in Buffalo within 48 hours. In another grusome attack, a young woman was stabbed in her eye by a woman yelling gay slurs as she left a lesbian bar. Watch WKBW's report WHEN YOU JUMP.