Friday, 25 September 2009

EdgeBoston: Police Seek Suspects in Ontario Anti-Gay Bashing with Brick
Wednesday Sep 9, 2009 by Kilian Melloy, EDGE Staff Reporter

John Raynard was beaten by a group of men who were shouting anti-gay epithets (Source:Posted at

A mob of anti-gay assailants allegedly chased down a 30-year-old man in Ontario and evidently used the brick he had picked up for self-defense to fracture a number of his facial bones.

A Sept. 7 article at tbsnewswatch reported that the vicious anti-gay attack took place early in the morning hours of Sept. 5 in the small Northwestern Ontario city of Thunder Bay.

A group of men chased down and beat John Raynard after trailing behind Raynard and his friends, yelling anti-gay epithets, the article said.

Raynard, who suffered more than a dozen facial fractures, will require reconstructive surgery.

The article said that Raynard and two friends were outside a night spot when a lone man came up to them to ask for a cigarette. The man then became abusive, at which point Raynard and his friends tried to walk away.

But the man followed after, with others joining him and shouting out anti-gay insults.

The article quoted Raynard as recalling, "It was like they were waiting in the woodwork.

"The crowd just seemed to get bigger."

When one assailant began to throttle Raynard’s friend, Raynard struck him in an attempt to defend the victim; then Raynard began to shout.

"I managed to fend off six to eight people by yelling long enough to get them into a cab," the article quoted Raynard as saying.

But when Raynard tried to get into the cab with his two friends, the crowd of men pressed in, making it impossible. Raynard then ran, heading for a nearby restaurant. He picked up a brick along the way, thinking he would use it in self-defense, but even as he pounded the window of the restaurant, the mob descended upon him and evidently used the brick Raynard was carrying to beat him about the face, inflicting the numerous fractures.

Raynard said that throughout the pursuit, he continued shouting to draw help. "I was screaming loud enough to wake up six blocks," the article quoted him as saying.

"How did nobody hear me?"

Once the mob set on him, the article said, Raynard had no further recollection until he regained consciousness that afternoon in the hospital.

The hospital staff claimed not to know how Raynard reached the hospital; his sister, Jackii, only learned of her brother’s injuries when he called her himself after coming to his sense.

Reckoned Raynard, "I’m lucky to be alive."

Jackii Raynard spoke out, calling the incident "a hate crime."

Noted Jackii Raynard, "They broke the whole left side of his face.

"His face speaks for itself."

The article said that besides Raynard, three others were reportedly assaulted and ended up in the hospital; police are investigating all the alleged assaults.

Meantime, the community of Thunder Bay has come to Raynard’s aid as he convalesces. reports that a Facebook page has been established for Raynard, and that local GLBT equality advocates are standing up to violence targeting gays.

The article quoted Juan Anderson, who set up the Facebook page, as saying, "The level of support coming forth is overwhelming.

"The community is rallying around Jake and taking a firm stance against hate crimes in our community. Let’s spread that sentiment as far we can."

Anderson announced that a rally against violence would convene Friday night at 6:00 p.m. "All people who support Jake and believe that this action has no place in our community are asked to attend," the article reads.

Moreover, a fund for Raynard has been established to help cover his medical costs, his living costs during his convalescence, and any legal costs that may arise as the case around the assault develops.

Said Anderson, "It is our response that defines us, not this crime."

Kilian Melloy reviews media, conducts interviews, and writes commentary for EDGEBoston, where he also serves as Assistant Arts Editor.

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