Mark Samnath, a 24-year-old gay man from the Ft. Lauderdale area, is reliving his Dec. 30 gay bashing as he works with police to find his three attackers. Who may have videotaped the assault.
A 24-year-old man recalled on Tuesday in harrowing detail how three men filmed themselves punching him in the face after they called him “faggot” and “gay boy.” Surveillance video released Tuesday by the Broward Sheriff’s Office shows one of the attack suspects leaving a Walgreens, at 8790 W. McNab Road, before the incident at about 4:30 p.m. Dec. 30. Authorities are asking the public to help track down the man.
The victim, Mark Samnath, of Tamarac, said the attack, in a residential area northwest of West McNab and North Pine Island roads, left him with two small visible scars. Also, he said, he’s been emotionally scarred. He said he is fearful about walking around his neighborhood in the afternoons. “I’m nervous around that time,” Samnath said. “I’m hoping they catch these people.” Samnath, who said he is openly gay, is convinced his sexual orientation motivated the attackers. Under Florida law, that makes the attack a hate crime, the Sheriff’s Office said. The classification elevates the crime from third-degree felony to second-degree felony battery, and conviction carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. “When they are caught, these assailants will face enhanced penalties for their crimes,” Sheriff’s Cmdr. Rick Wierzbicki said in a statement.
And can we give CBS Miami props for some responsible reporting? They didn’t call him a “homosexual.” Nor did they describe him as having a “sexual preference.”