A gay man who was brutally beaten in Mississippi on Friday (20 March) says the attack was a hate crime.
Investigators said James David Scott, 23, confronted Devin Norman, 26, in a Walmart parking lot in Corinth about an alleged social media post.
According to a witness, Scott threw Norman to the ground and stomped his face into the pavement while yelling, ‘Faggot! Faggot! Faggot!’
Norman was treated for multiple facial fractures and broken eye sockets.
Scott fled the scene but was later arrested and charged with assault.
Norman said his attacker should face hate crime charges as he used anti-gay slurs.
‘I think that it’s a travesty that there’s an entire segment of abuse that’s just swept under the rug,’ he told WMC.
‘Yes, his assault was aggravated but it’s entirely something else. Entirely. It was simply because of who I love.’
Those close to Scott said Norman threatened to out him by posting private pictures and messages the two men shared on Facebook, although Norman said he was bluffing.
‘The alleged Facebook post was apparently sexual in nature,’ Police Chief Ralph Dance told WTVA.
‘We haven’t been able to verify that there was ever a Facebook post made.’
Authorities said they had not reached the conclusion the attack was a hate crime but they are investigating.
Mississippi’s hate crime law does not include sexual orientation but Scott could face federal charges.