A gay couple is looking for justice after one of them was dragged behind a car in a homophobic attack.
According to Simcoe, three Canadian men are now charged with assault after they attacked a gay couple in Orillia, Ontario. The assailants first noticed the gay couple as they held hands while walking along Orillia’s waterfront on Esplanade Street around 10:30 p.m. on August 28.
The three suspects, who were sitting within a passing car, then began harassing them, according to police reports. The car’s driver, 23-year-old James Ley from Barrie, and his two passengers (Eric Artindale, 21, of Ramara Township and Roarke McCooeye, 21, of Bracebridge) started yelling out profanities and homophobic slurs at the men. The car then drove away.
Unfortunately, the car shortly returned, according to Global News. The three men then allegedly threw beer and a beer can at one of the gay men, who has chosen to withhold his identity in fear of more harassment, before driving away. The car then returned for a third time. This time, the victim approached the car and started talking to the Ley. Ley then drove off and the victim was allegedly dragged behind the car for over 25 meters (80 feet), according to the police.
Shortly after the altercation, police officers located the car in question and then arrested the three suspects. Ley was charged with assault and dangerous operation of a vehicle. Meanwhile, Artindale and McCooeye were charged with assault. All three men have since been released from jail on a Form 10 undertaking and are expected in Orillia court on November 17.
Anyone with important information related to this case is asked to contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.