Washington D.C. has always been known to be haven for the LGBT community, with many members of the community flocking to Dupont Circle and nightlife spots like Nellie’s, JR’s and The DC Eagle throughout the year. This past week though, several patrons of Number Nine nightclub found themselves attacked outside one of the the two nightclubs in the Logan Circle area.
The Washington Blade reports that on Halloween night, three men were attacked in an unprovoked attack on the 1400 block of P Street N.W., where the still unidentified attacker “used homophobic language” while assaulting the three men, according to a police report. The report goes on to state “Without provocation or warning, Suspect 1 punched Victim 1 in the head then slammed Victim 1’s head into a glass window, causing serious bodily injuries,” the D.C. police report states. “Victim 1 was knocked unconscious and needed multiple staples to his head to close the laceration,” the report says. The report classifies the incident as a suspected hate crime.
Timothy Luke identified himself as one of the victims on Facebook and included both graphic pictures (below) of the aftermath of the attack, as well as an impassioned statement. He indicated that while it was an act of hate, he was not completely certain that it was a hate crime. Conversely, in his statement on Facebook (below) he states that “Many homosexual and derogatory slurs were stated during the attack, however, I am unable to firmly state whether this was a hate crime or just a heinous attack”.
Timothy Luke posted the following message on his Facebook page:
To our dear family and friends, As many of you know, Andy and I are not individuals that like to post a lot on social media, especially when it comes to our personal lives. However, I am compelled to share this story of hate in hopes of opening the eyes of many into this sick world that for which we live.
On Thursday evening, my husband Andy, our dear friend Jeremy, and myself were victims of an assault. Many homosexual and derogatory slurs were stated during this attack, however, I am unable to firmly state whether this was a hate crime or just a heinous attack. After spending many hours in the ER until early Friday morning, Jeremy and I are lucky to have walked away with minor injuries. However, Andy was not as fortunate. A severe concussion and 7 staples on his scalp later, I was able to bring him home.
Today is a much better day — and we have been able to speak to our families to let them know we are okay. Thus, I felt it was time to write this message. Whether we see it or witness it personally, hate occurs every day in so many forms. For some reason, there are many individuals in this world that want to hate and cause division because of the differences between us. Rather, we should celebrate our diversity and open our eyes to how our differences can better our world. The last 36 hours have been a series of emotions — fear of leaving the apartment, blessed that the injuries sustained were not as bad as what they could have been, anger for the hate that is promoted within our community, but most importantly — HOPE.
We have decided to not allow this to define us. Yet, we are going to continue to use the fear and anger from this event and put that energy into continuing to make a positive difference. What I ask of each of you is to help us do the same. Support one another. Allow others to express and be themselves. Accept each other’s differences. LOVE one another. This event will not stop us — so, I urge each of you to stand with us as we turn this pain into courage and strength. We will not hide who we are; yet, we will continue to be resilient and to fight for the safety and rights for ALL human beings. We love you all. Thank you for your love and support. Always, Luke and Andy
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love — for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” — Nelson Mandela
On Tuesday night, D.C. police released a video of the suspect and photos made from the video along with an updated statement asking the public for help in identifying the suspect.
“Anyone who can identify this individual or who has knowledge of this incident should take no action but call police at 202-727-9099 or text your tip to the department’s TEXT TIP LINE at 50411,” the police statement says. The statement says the incident has been designated an aggravated assault offense “potentially being motivated by hate or bias.”