A man in Mississippi had his jaw broken following a brutal attack. Trevor Gray had his jaw wired shut after the bashing, which occurred on 12 April in Waynesboro, Mississippi.
According to Gray’s family, the 28-year-old was attacked because the perpetrators assumed he was gay.
The Clarion-Ledger reports that Gray met his alleged attackers, Landon McCaa (32) and Toman Sion Brown (28), at a local bar. A native of Waynesboro, Gray had recently moved back to his hometown and went out with the hopes of making new friends.
When the bar closed at 2 a.m, McCaa invited Gray back to his house. It was at McCaa’s house that the two men turned on Gray. Two hours later, Gray was running from the house bleeding.
McCaa and Brown have been charged with felony aggravated assault. However, the charges could be upgraded to a hate crime, according to Wayne County Sheriff Jody Ashley, who has asked the FBI to assist in an investigation.
Cruz Gray, Trevor’s brother, spoke to the media about the assault. He says that during the attack, the men allegedly called Trevor ‘queer.’
‘He’s not gay, but it wouldn’t matter if he were,’ Cruz stated. ‘No one deserves for this to happen to them.’
Mississippi and Federal law
Under Mississippi law, penalties may be enhanced if it’s discovered that a crime was committed because of the victim’s ‘actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, national origin or gender.’ Federal law includes the victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or disabilities as well.
A video of what appears to be McCaa repeatedly punching Gray was circulated on social media. According to Sheriff Ashley, McCaa blamed the incident on alcohol while Brown blamed it on a ‘feud.’
Both men were released on bond.
Despite this atrocity, Trevor Gray is not angry. ‘For as long as I can remember, my family has taught me to see the best in others,’ he wrote in an email to the Clarion-Ledger.
‘My peace in this situation comes from that. So, for those wondering, I’m not angry or vengeful; I’m not sad. I’m optimistic. The events of that night are small when weighed against the incredible amount of love and support people have shown me.’
A GoFundMe has been set up for Trevor Gray to assist with his medical bills and lawyer fees.