Police in Charleston, South Carolina have released audio of a 9-1-1 call placed by a gay man. In it, he reports being held at gunpoint by an unknown assailant for “talking gay”
The attack occurred October 25. The victim in question–who remains anonymous to protect his privacy–dropped his brother off that morning and paused a moment in his car to send a text message. ABC News reports the attacker then approached the victim’s car, gun in hand.
“I’ve got this guy following me because I’m gay,” the victim says in the recording. “He’s trying to shoot me. He’s like literally chasing my car.” The caller then adds that the attacker told him “We don’t like f*ggots around here, keep going.”
“I was like, ‘Ain’t nobody following you, I’m sending a text message,’” the caller says in the recording. “He goes, ‘Y’all are talking gay. We don’t want no gay people around here,’ blah blah blah.”
The attacker then threw a phone charger at the victim’s car and brandished a gun. The victim describes him as a black male in his mid to late 30s, standing about six feet tall, and weighing 190-200 pounds. He wore a black T-shirt, blue jeans torn at the knees, and white and black Nike shoes.
Police are now searching for the suspect. Though South Carolina does not offer protections to queer people based on sexual orientation, the city of Charleston does have anti-hate crime ordinances on the books. Violators face a $500 fine and up to 30 days in prison.
Charleston Police Chief Luthor Reynolds told reporters “Hate has no place in the city of Charleston.” He encourages anyone with information about the crime to contact Crime Stoppers at (843) 554-1111.