A man who allegedly rammed a 31-year-old’s head into a brick wall at Honeysuckle on Saturday night told a group of the victim’s angry friends in the aftermath: “I fear gay”.
The 31-year-old victim, who suffered a brain aneurysm and several serious seizures in his early 20s, was left with a gash above his left eye when he was allegedly assaulted.
It came after a man, in a group of about 12 males, allegedly called out a lewd remark at one of the four female friends the 31-year-old was walking with through the hotel and restaurant strip.
“Dude, she has a boyfriend,” the 31-year-old responded before his head was rammed into a wall.
The victim asked not to be named but gave the Newcastle Herald permission to publish an image of his face to show his wound.
His friends immediately confronted the man in an exchange that a passer-by recorded on a smart phone, which was posted on social media on Friday.
In the footage, seen by the Herald, the 31-year-old’s friends can be heard repeatedly asking the man why he reacted violently.
The man can be heard apologising several times before arguing that he did not mean to hurt the 31-year-old.
But when asked whether he assaulted the 31-year-old because he was gay, the man can be heard saying: “I fear that... I fear gay. I just don’t cope with it”.
Later in the video, when the man claims he had “just simply pushed him away”, the 31-year-old responds: “you pushed me into the wall and you pushed my face into the wall, you pushed me twice”.
Elsie Stuart, a friend of the 31-year-old who was at the scene, said the group was heading out for the night to celebrate her birthday when the incident took place.
Ms Stuart said the group was walking near Hog’s Breath Cafe when they heard “cat-calling” directed at one of them coming from a group of men, many of whom were in fancy dress as pirates.
“I went up to the man and said ‘what have you done, why have you done this?’,” she told the Herald.
Ms Stuart said the alleged attacker threw a $20 note at the group as he climbed into a taxi to leave the scene and said: “this should fix it”.
She said the incident left the people in her group “very angry and devastated”.
“What if [the 31-year-old] was there by himself? The girl that was being harassed now blames herself,” she said.
The 31-year-old said on social media he didn’t expect the situation to escalate so quickly.
“What exactly was he afraid of? That I politely informed him that my female friend had a partner? Was my presence as a gay male so terrifying that his only option was to beat me?”
In news today October 12, 2018: