Tom Anderson of Taunton, Massachusetts thought he would celebrate the end of pride month by hanging the pride flag in his yard. He didn’t expect that displaying the flag would lead to a violent assault by a stranger.
Boston 25 News reports the attack happened in the closing days of June. “We had put the flag up maybe an hour beforehand, it was Pride month,” Anderson recalls.
As he continued to work around his yard, Anderson says an unidentified man stopped and got out of his car, walked over, and began beating him on the spot. The attacker swore at him, called him names and began punching him in the face. The blows to the face knocked out Anderson’s two front teeth, and left him with gashes that required stitches.
“I was kind of in a state of disbelief, like really, I’m in my own yard,” Anderson says.
“I saw the guy just come up and yell those nasty words at my husband and then hit him two or three times and then took off back into his car and screeched away,” said Jacob Anderson, Tom’s husband. “It’s definitely a hate crime just based on the words he used.”
Fortunately, another passer-by stopped to help Anderson, and also took a description of the suspect and his car. Police continue to investigate the crime, but have not publicly charged or named any suspects.
“I’m more worried about him getting away with it and thinking ‘okay this is okay to do,” Tom Anderson says of the attack. He and Jacob also say they’ve experienced an outpouring of support from the community in the wake of the attack. One neighbor even gifted the couple a home security system.
Moreover, Anderson says that the attack will not stop him from displaying the Pride Flag. “I want to just keep it up all year long now,” he says.