When 26-year-old Burke Burnett and three gay friends attended a party Saturday night in Reno, Texas, they didn’t expect to be greeted by comments like, “These faggots don’t deserve to be here. Somebody needs to get them out of there.”
The group left, but Burnett hadn’t heard the remarks and returned some hours later.
It was then that one attacker punched Burnett in his left eye and another stabbed him hard in the back with a broken beer bottle.
As his assailants yelled “pussy-ass faggot,” “gay bitch,” “cocksucking punk,” and other insults, Burnett was stabbed a second time, deep in his right forearm, and thrown onto a lit barrel.
Burnett’s female friends distracted the four assailants while Burnett ran off to the parking lot. Later, a friend drove him to the Sulphur Springs hospital, where he received 30 stitches and treatment for third-degree burns and severe bruises.
Burnett says he knows his attackers, one of them personally, and he’s certain they had intended to kill him. “I’m scared for my life. I’m scared to go home,” he told the Dallas Voice. “These guys have nothing to lose.”
Reno is a small, conservative suburb of Paris, TX, with a population of only 3,086 people. Burnett’s gay friends worry that local authorities may ignore or downgrade the attack, despite Texas’ tough new hate-crime law. And, so far, the mainstream press has yet to pick up the story.
“I intend to make sure the Police Department follows through with this, and that the local press covers it,” Burnett’s friend Chivas Clem told the Voice. “When I saw him, I vomited because he looked so bad — and I cried.”
We’re counting on the authorities to pursue this case to its fullest extent and the community to stand up against such horrific attacks. We’re waiting.
Source: Dallas Voice