St John’s gay man beaten, ‘left for dead’

Pattrick Blackburn says he was attacked by three men

A Newfoundland man was sent to hospital with a slew of serious injuries after being viciously beaten by three men, who split his head open and called him “faggot.”

Pattrick Blackburn was walking home through the north end of St John’s on the evening of Aug 15. “I saw three men out of the corner of my eye,” he says. One called him a “faggot.” Then, “I heard footsteps,” he says.

A co-worker found Blackburn bleeding and tossed in a bush. “Left for dead,” as Blackburn puts it. He was rushed to hospital, where he received 18 stitches in his head. He needed a blood transfusion. He now sports a patch over his right eye, which is still healing. He says the doctors told him that, had he been found just a bit later, things may have been much worse. Blackburn calls the co-worker who found him “my hero.”

Blackburn says the three made off with his iPhone and some cash. He’s tracking the phone — they won’t get in to his private information, he says: “it’s Fort Knoxed.”

Blackburn, who communicated with Xtra via email, remembers virtually nothing and says he has short-term memory loss. Pictures from that night show him barely lucid, his shirt drenched in blood.

“I didn’t think this could happen in Newfoundland,” Blackburn says, sobbing, in a video he recorded the day after the ordeal. “But it’s still going on.

“I’m in a lot of pain, but I’ve got painkillers for that,” he says, wiping his eyes and attempting a smile at the camera. “And if that don’t work, people been bringing me wine.” He attempts a chuckle. “I’m trying to keep my spirits up.”

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, which handles policing in the city, isn’t prepared to comment on the specifics of the case but says it is investigating.

Freelance journalist covering current affairs and politics for Xtra.

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