UK Bi Teen Lied About Hate Crime Attack, Police Say
The claims by a British bisexual teen who said he was viciously attacked because of his sexuality last month are false, according to local authorities, the U.K.'s Lancashire Evening Post reports.
According to reports from British news channel CCTV, Richard Scott Kennedy, 18, from Blackpool, England, was not beaten by a group because he is bisexual but because he fell on his face after a night out.
Kennedy, a theatre major at the University of Central Lancashire, originally claimed that he was the target of anti-gay slurs and physical assault. He said the incident occurred on Feb. 26 shortly after leaving a club, when he was walking home by himself around 3:30 a.m. The student said he was attacked by a group, who stomped on his face, causing his teeth to go into his gums. He claimed that his sexuality triggered the beating.
Lancashire Evening Post reports that friends found him and took him to the hospital.
His story went viral after sharing it on Facebook. Kennedy's post, which included pictures of his cut up face, has been shared more than 182,000 times and has nearly 160,000 likes.
Kennedy’s caption says "Here is my face after a homophobic attack, 4 of my teeth are gone, not fallen out but deep inside my gums and cheek, one is sitting under my cheek inside my gum on the right side bottom of my nose."
He later adds:
"All of this and what was their motive? because of my fucking sexuality. something that doesn’t concern ANYONE else minus me and the person I fall for, either man or woman. A sex life is private and has nothing to do with no one, needless to say it’s absolutely disgraceful to violently attack someone because of who they are. My confidence has gone, im utterly embarrassed to be seen in public, the only reason I am putting this picture up is because I want you to see me as an example. An example why homophobia is wrong and it’s disgusting that it’s still around in 2014. Society needs to get a grip, people are who they are, people are different, people are gay, straight, bi, transexual, black, white, asian, fat, skinny, small and tall but regardless of who they are and what they look like they are still human. There is more to people than their sexual preference and what they look like.
This is just another homophobic attack that happens every day, but it needs to stop, this is wrong, this is disgusting and using sexual preference as a motive to be violent and abusive is utter inhumane."
According to detective inspector Paddy O’Neill, however, Kennedy was not attacked, but fell on his face after leaving a club.
"We managed to recover some CCTV footage which shows the injured party falling face-first onto the pavement," O’Neill is quoted saying in the Lancashire Evening Post. "We have showed him the CCTV and he now accepts his injuries were caused during the fall. Having had oversight of the investigation since its inception and taking into account the full circumstances, I accept his report was made in good faith."
The detective added: "The investigation into this matter is indicative of the lengths we will go to when investigating reports of violent crime in the city. We believe assaults, and hate crime assaults in particular, are under-reported in the city for many reasons."
Kennedy has yet to respond to the police statements via Facebook.