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Teen arrested for bashing gay couple for holding hands claims they 'provoked' him

He claims the couple threw the first punch

Teen arrested for bashing gay couple for holding hands claims they 'provoked' him
Facebook / Jasper Vernes-Sewratan
Jasper and Ronnie were attacked with a bolt cutter on the way home

A teen arrested for beating up a gay couple wants to press charges against them.

The 16-year-old is one of five teens arrested as suspects in the attack on Jasper Vernes-Sewratan and his husband Ronnie Sewratan-Vernes.

Dutch authorities have not released any of the teenagers’ names.

The teen’s lawyer, Gerald Roethof, told TV show Pauw his client accused the couple of acting aggressively towards the teenagers.

He alleges they threw the first punch.

Roethof denied allegations of his client using a bolt cutter. He did say the teen admitted to punching one of the men in the mouth, which ‘loosened his teeth’.

The lawyer said the gang of five were all Dutch Moroccans, and the couple’s sexual orientation was ‘irrelevant’ to the case.

His client asked police to look for surveillance camera footage showing what happened.

Jasper and Ronnie told the NL Times they could not believe the allegations.

‘We are not fighters and we can not find ourselves in that story,’ they said.

‘We really don’t want to go into it too much. We stand behind our story and want to stay calm now.

‘Things aren’t going too well and we are a little overwhelmed. We now want to focus on recovery.’

Early on Sunday morning (2 April), the couple were walking home from a club night when they were attacked.

They claim the teenagers attacked the couple because they were holding hands, and Ronnie was beaten with a bolt cutter.

The attack sparked outrage across the Netherlands, but also triggered a wave of support.

High-profile politicians, celebrities and citizens walked hand in hand and posted pictures on social media to show solidarity.

On Wednesday (5 April) about 2,000 people marched through Amsterdam to protest against homophobic violence.

Six people were arrested – one 14-year-old and a 20-year-olds were arrested shortly after the attack. Four 16-year-olds turned themselves in to the police in Monday (3 April).

The 20-year-old man was released shortly afterwards, after it turned out he does not know the teenagers and was not involved in the assault.

The gang of five were released today (7 April). They are still considered suspects, but the magistrate decided to release them because he sees no risk of recurrence.


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