Minnesota gay college student Paul Marquardt found himself on the receiving end of a good ol’ fashioned American knuckle-sandwich last Thursday. The Minnesota Staute University – Moorhead pupil had been when walking home from the library when a group of hoodlums approached.
The gang started shouting at him. Hoping they would go away, Marquardt turned up his music, hoping they’d leave him alone. Unfortunately, the group had other ideas:
Marquardt said he was followed by a group of men who yelled anti-gay slurs at him at which point he turned up his MP3 player in an attempt to ignore the men. The men then threw him to the ground, knocking him unconscious, and kicking him repeatedly. Marquardt regained consciousness several minutes later, but remembered very little of the attack. He was treated for a concussion, a separated shoulder, a broken wrist, and possible spleen damage.
Spleen damage ain’t pretty.
Marquardt’s injuries were so ugly, according to gay group Ten Percent Society, doctors told him that if he weren’t so built, he’d be dead. (See, kids, anorexia don’t pay.) Now Marquardt teaming up with TPS to fight for more comprehensive campus security. TPS released a statement insisting:
This incident shows that there is still a long way go as far as tolerance in our community. But it also shows that there is a lacking of security on MSUM’s campus. There is much that can be done to improve security on MSUM’s campus to help prevent this from happening again.
For his part, Marquardt commented:
Me being gay and it being a hate crime is also awful, but it could have happened to a girl or another guy or a couple. It could have happened to anyone.
TPS, however, played up Marquardt’s homosexuality: “As far as we know, this is the first recorded hate crime in the city of Moorhead.”
We have to play devil’s advocate, but this incident’s not necessarily a hate crime. There’s no report that the attacker’s targeted Marquardt based on his faggotry. They could have just been typical good for nothing hooligans who get their kicks raising hell. We’ll just have to see what – if anything – comes of this…
Assault Shocks Fargo-Moorhead LGBT Community [Eleventh Ave. South]