Brutal beating of gay man near eagleBOLTbar raises concern about possible hate crime
Jeremy photo via gofundme.com
Early Sunday morning, a 30-year-old man named Jeremy wound up in the hospital with severe facial injuries that were apparently the result of an assault in downtown Minneapolis.
Jeremy -- we're not disclosing his last to honor a request made by his friends -- had left the eagleBOLTbar, a Washington Avenue establishment that bills itself as "the premier Masculine Men's GLBT bar" in the Twin Cities, and was walking from there to a bus stop on Portland Avenue when he was attacked. (A friend told us Jeremy was found in the vicinity of the Star Tribune building.)
Left with a broken jaw and a number of knocked-out teeth, Jeremy doesn't remember anything about what happened to him, and police didn't learn of the assault until he was already in the hospital. But whoever attacked Jeremy didn't rob him, fueling concerns the violence might've been related to Jeremy's sexuality.
"There are times when a community comes together to care for one of their own. [N]ow is that time," Jeremy's friend, Jason Little, writes on a gofundme.com created to help defray Jeremy's medical costs, many of which Little says won't be covered by insurance. (The page has already raised more than $11,000 as this is published.)
"Jeremy has been a supporter of the Minneapolis community and now it's time to support him," Little added.
In a follow-up post, Little writes that Jeremy will be meeting with facial and dental surgery teams Friday, after which "there will be a much better understanding of the costs of Jeremy's non-covered medical expenses."
"Jeremy is a strong man and he will move on from this experience but we can rally around our brother to help remove some of the burdens of this appalling event," he wrote.
The story was broken by Fox 9 in a report featuring post-assault images of a bloody and bruised Jeremy in the hospital. (He's since been released and is back at home.)
Reached for comment this afternoon, Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder said the investigation into the result is ongoing. He declined to discuss what sorts of leads police are working with or whether investigators know of any eyewitnesses, but said, "If anyone did see something that night, we'd love to hear from folks."
The MPD's tipline can be reached at 612-692-8477.
In an email to City Pages, Little stressed, "We don't have any explicit evidence that it was a hate crime, aside from the odd fact that nothing was stolen, which many with experience in assaults that target LGBT people agree was very odd."
But "violence like this to anyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender or other background is unconscionable," he added.
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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