A gay man in Washington, DC was beaten up by neighbors in his apartment complex in what police call an alleged hate crime.
Antonio Zephir, 51, was the victim of insults such as “Jewish fagot” and “fagot slut” during the attack, the Washington blade reports.
Zephir was walking next to a woman, identified in court documents as Aurlora Y. Ellis, who was speaking with her roommate, Steven Johnson, on the afternoon of October 13, when she shouted “Jewish chick” at him. “I responded with not-so-kind words. She ran towards me and assaulted me with hard punches to my face, ”Zephir told the Blade by email.
“I fought back to try to defend myself,” he continued. “Sir. Johnson tried to separate us when his daughter Latera Cox and [Cox’s] father assaulted me. Mrs Ellis yelled, ‘Call the police, you fagot. They won’t do anything. It is not finished yet.’ The three then fled on foot, and Zephir called the police, who are in the process of obtaining arrest warrants for the three accused attackers. Police consider the assault to be a suspected hate crime and continue to investigate.
Zephir was treated in the emergency room the next day. He had fractures to his nose and a bone around one eye, as well as bleeding from his left eye and “an injury inside the mouth caused by trauma from the assault,” the Blade reports.
He said he had been harassed by Ellis before – “For several months, every time Ms Ellis sees me she shouts homophobic slurs and I continued to ignore her,” he wrote in his email – and after the attack he decided to apply for a restraining order against her and her family. There are rumors that Ellis owns a gun, he said, and he believes his life could be in danger. He also filed a civil lawsuit against Ellis, his daughter and Ellis’ roommate, Linda Miller. Miller, he said, is a “facilitator” of Ellis’ abuse of him.
The Blade asked the accused attackers and Miller for comment, but has received no response so far.