Three Lowell, Massachusetts, teens have been charged and released for an apparent anti-gay attack against 22-year old James Nickola.
Nickola told police he had been walking down Bridge Street when the three youths started lobbing homophobic epithets in his direction. Nickola attempted to ignore the boys, but they were tenacious and caught up to him a few blocks away. Yelling “faggot,” two boys allegedly beat Nickola so severely, they nearly ripped his bottom lip off. Nickola claims the third encouraged his violent friends.
Police later picked up the 19-year old suspects – Jeffrey J. Buchannan, Jonathan M. Artis and Jules V. Ruggs – and charged them with civil rights violation (assault and battery), simple assault and battery and “mayhem”.
Prosecutors recommended the boys be held on $2,500 bond, but a judge released them with a nightly curfew and mandatory probation.