Vicious beating

Robert Peterson discovered he was covered in blood when he finally reached a pay telephone on a crossroads in Fredericton.

“I could not see a bit of flesh through the blood. This is why I could not see during the attack, because my eyes had been the target and the blood blinded my vision.”

Peterson was viciously assaulted while walking home from the provincial capital’s only gay bar very early Sunday morning, Nov 7.

The 24-year-old law student writes, via e-mail, that the attack was clearly a gaybashing.

Peterson says he was jumped and called a “faggot,” and the man, whom he had never seen before, told Peterson: “You said I was gay.”

“The next morning I awoke to swelling so severe I could not recognize my own face, a gash above my left eye requiring stitches, and my right eyelid was torn right through and required the plastic surgeon to sew it back together from the inside….

“I’m concerned that there might be nerve damage.”

Fredericton police have not classified the attack as a homophobic hate crime – because that category doesn’t exist.

“We’re saying it’s an aggravated assault,” says department spokesperson Sgt Tim Cane. “We only classify [by what’s] in the Criminal Code.

(Under the federal government’s hate crime legislation of 199x, crimes based on homophobia can qualify as hate crimes during sentencing.)

Cane says the attack occurred in the bar district, “a highly trafficked area on bar nights. Any night, there’s fights.

“Nobody deserves to take a beating like he took… but no one gives a rat’s ass about the girl or the guy who was assaulted [the week before]. I guess that’s the way things are today.”

Cane says no arrest has been made.

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