Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Queer Bashing In Utah: Third Gay Man Attacked in Two Weeks

Scene of possible anti-gay hate crime attack in American Fork, Utah (KSL 5 News photo)

American Fork, Utah – A 32-year-old gay man was attacked by slur-yelling homophobes outside the beauty salon where he is employed as a stylist.  Fox 13 reports that Cameron Nelson was emptying garbage into a dumpster just after midnight on Thursday from the Metropolitan Salon when two or three attackers jumped him, beating and kicking him repeatedly while disparaging his sexual orientation.  Managing to get back inside the shop, Nelson laid down and tried to nurse his wounds until a co-worker arrived a few hours later, found him “covered in blood,” and called paramedics and the police.  American Forks Police Lieutenant Darren Falslev told reporters that Nelson was kicked several times.  He was treated for a broken nose, abrasions, bruises, and a series of other more minor injuries.  The Salt Lake Tribune interviewed another American Forks Police Officer, Sergeant Gregg Ludlow, who called the slurs hurled at Nelson “disgusting,” and that attack against him “quite repugnant.”  Later news reports are saying that this assault may be investigated as an anti-gay hate crime, in view of the overtly homophobic epithets aimed at the victim.  Sgt. Ludlow told Q Salt Lake, “It’s pretty early in the investigation but it’s a definite possibility that the crime could be considered a hate-related crime. The slurs were made and we promise to keep investigating until the attackers are caught. We are taking this very seriously.”  Nelson is certain he was targeted because of his sexual orientation, but did not know any of his assailants. Police are searching for a white male suspect about 5′ 10″ tall with shoulder-length brown hair, wearing cutoff shorts and combat boots.

American Fork, a quintessential Utah city of just under 30,000, was best know around the nation for the filming of classic movies, such as the 1984 hit “Footloose,” starring Kevin Bacon, and its 89.9% church-going citizenry.  Now, it becomes yet another Utah city experiencing a rash of anti-gay hate crimes along the Wasatch Front, a string of cities and towns in Northeast Utah where 80% of the state’s population resides.  Nelson’s friends and the residents of the city are “in shock” about the attack. If the investigation confirms Nelson was bashed because of his gay identity, his case will become the third such assault on gay men in Utah in the last two weeks.  Two Salt Lake City men have suffered similar attacks outside a local night club, most notably, 20-year-old Dane Hall, who was “curb checked” by his attackers on August 27, suffering a smashed cheekbone, splintered jaw, and 6 missing teeth.  The American Forks Police Department say that they have not yet made a connection between the Salt Lake City attacks and the assault that targeted Nelson, but they are definitely not ruling it out.

September 9, 2011 - Posted by | Anglo Americans, Anti-LGBT hate crime, Beatings and battery, gay bashing, gay men, GLBTQ, Hate Crimes, hate speech, Heterosexism and homophobia, Law and Order, LGBTQ, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Slurs and epithets, Stomping and Kicking Violence, Unsolved LGBT Crimes, Utah | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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  1. […] See “Queer Bashing In Utah: Third Gay Man Attacked in Two Weeks” at https://unfinishedlivesblog.com/2011/09/09/queer-bashing-in-utah-third-gay-man-attacked-in-two-weeks/ This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. ← Current […]

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