Gay YouTuber Calum McSwiggan denies police report that he faked anti-gay beating
Gay YouTuber Calum McSwiggan has refuted a police report claiming that he faked an anti-gay beating outside a bar in West Hollywood.
Popular YouTube personality Calum McSwiggan posted a photo of himself on social media earlier this week, claiming that he was attacked outside a gay bar in West Hollywood Monday.
Safe sex expert McSwiggan – who revealed his past as an amateur porn actor earlier this year – was quick to tell his followers that he had three broken teeth and needed stitches in his head after being beaten up by “three guys” outside the club, saying it was “the worst night of his life”.
He also said that the authorities had made him feel like a “second class citizen” – although said authorities earlier today released a statement telling a very different story.
West Hollywood police since said the YouTuber was arrested after officers witnessed him vandalising a car near the club.
Holly M. Perez – captain of the West Hollywood Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department – told The Advocate that McSwiggan had no “visible injuries” up his arrest, sharing his mugshot (above) to substantiate their claim.
The YouTuber released a lengthy statement on Wednesday evening titled ‘The truth and full story of the events on June 26th’
It says the police record of the incident was not correct, and that he was indeed attacked on 26 June.
It reads that after having a few drinks, he flirted with a guy in the Abbey gay bar, before leaving the venue to go to his alleged attacker’s car.
He writes: “I believe we were accompanied by two of his friends but my memory is hazy with this.”
Adding: “I walked with him to a dark car park no more than five minutes away where, if they weren’t already with us, we were joined by two of his friends by his car. I know the car belonged to him because at one point he opened the door – I believe he was retrieving something from the glove box but I can’t be sure.”
The statement goes on to say that the man’s “attitude flipped”, and that he was punched in the mouth before blacking out.
“Shortly afterwards I regained consciousness and instantly realised one of my front teeth was broken. I have spent my whole adult life campaigning for LGBT+ equality and did not take this attack lightly. I can not say for 100% that this was because I was gay but I can’t think of any other justification for this random attack. In a moment of devastation, anger and blind rage I kicked the wing mirror of the attacker’s car until it broke and then ripped it off with my hands. I also scratched the front of the car with the broken wing mirror before returning back to The Abbey for help,” the statement continues.
McSwiggan then says after police were called, he was taken into custody for the vandalism of the car and that officers told him they did not believe he was attacked due to a lack of marks on his face.
“Just because there were no visible marks on my face does not mean I was not attacked,” he adds, saying after being placed in a holding cell, police officers refused to take him to hospital.
Later in the statement the YouTuber admits that he injured his own head using the handset of a payphone, so that he would be taken to hospital and treated.
He concludes, thanking those who have supported him throughout the incident, saying he was advised by a lawyer not to speak to the press between his arrest and appearing at court.
“I do not blame the individual police officers for what happened. They were just doing their jobs. I believe they genuinely believed I had not been attacked. I find it shocking, however, that there is not a system in place to protect victims. Victims should be given the benefit of the doubt and allowed immediate medical advice and council in a crisis,” he says.
After attending court , McSwiggan says there was “no record of my case on file,” but that he will return to rectify the issue.
Police captain Perez since the incident said McSwiggan was “observed injuring himself with the handle and receiver to a payphone inside the cell.”
Officers say that it was only then that he was taken to hospital – where he subsequently uploaded an Instagram post describing the “attack”.
Fellow YouTube personality Riyadh Khalif was quick to lament his friend’s attack, tweeting that although he was with McSwiggan at the bar , the attack came during a moment that the group were separated.
Following claims that McSwiggan made the whole incident up, Khalif defended his colleague, saying he “isn’t faking it”.
Read McSwiggan’s full statement here:
On Sunday June 26th I went out to The Abbey, a gay club, in West Hollywood with my friends and fellow YouTubers Riyadh Khalaf, Melanie Murphy and Doug Armstrong. We were on a high from having an amazing time at VidCon and celebrating the end of it with one last night out. We had two or three drinks and were feeling very happy. We were mingling and talking with other people and I found a guy I took a liking to. I began flirting with him and left The Abbey with him. I believe we were accompanied by two of his friends but my memory is hazy with this.
I walked with him to a dark car park no more than five minutes away where, if they weren’t already with us, we were joined by two of his friends by his car. I know the car belonged to him because at one point he opened the door – I believe he was retrieving something from the glove box but I can’t be sure.
After this I was talking to them, I don’t remember about what specifically, but at some point in that conversation his tone and attitude flipped. He said something about my friend Melanie and then punched me in the mouth. I blacked out quickly after this but remember being kicked in the body multiple times, I believe by all three men.
Shortly afterwards I regained consciousness and instantly realised one of my front teeth was broken. I have spent my whole adult life campaigning for LGBT+ equality and did not take this attack lightly. I can not say for 100% that this was because I was gay but I can’t think of any other justification for this random attack. In a moment of devastation, anger and blind rage I kicked the wing mirror of the attacker’s car until it broke and then ripped it off with my hands. I also scratched the front of the car with the broken wing mirror before returning back to The Abbey for help.
I approached the first people I found, two girls, and told them what had happened. I was hysterical and just wanted help. They comforted me but weren’t sure how to help so I called my friend Riyadh. I explained what had happened, in full, and there should be a record of this phone call. He told me to meet him outside the abbey entrance where I found them and collapsed on the ground in tears while they comforted me. I asked them to call the police and Riyadh did immediately. There should also be a record of this phone call. The police arrived in less than five minutes and were very helpful at this time. They allowed me some time and space to calm down before talking to me and getting my story. I told them everything and told them I vandalised the vehicle. I showed them the wing mirror which I still had with me. I believe this was kept by The Abbey staff security. I did not think that under the circumstances that I would be treated as a criminal and I suggested bringing the police to the vehicle so that they could take the registration and find the owner to prosecute him.
I got in the police car with my friend Doug who was comforting me and Melanie and Riyadh followed behind. We found the vehicle immediately and after speaking on their phones and radios for a few minutes the police asked me again if it was me who damaged the car. I again confirmed that I had done it and the female police officer said, “I’m sorry, but I have no choice but to do this,” and reached for her handcuffs. I said I understood and immediately put my hands behind my back so that she could handcuff me and put me in the back of the vehicle. They then confiscated my belongings and wouldn’t let me talk to my friends any longer. I asked the female police officer to come and talk to me, and she did, where I explained again what had happened and asked why I was being treated as the criminal. She apologised but said that she did not believe I had been attacked due to the lack of physical injuries on my face. This caused me to break down again and they allowed my friend Doug to comfort me briefly before I was taken away to the police station.
At the station I was put into a holding cell where I asked to speak to a medical professional, a councillor, my parents, my friends, a lawyer, for a phone call, or to be transferred to a hospital but they wouldn’t let me.
I was understandably shaken, upset, and terrified. I kept asking what was going to happen to me and what was going on but nobody would tell me. I was in tears and visibly shaking and clearly in need of support but was given none.
My father eventually called the station and I could hear them speaking to him on the phone. I pleaded with them to let me speak with him but they wouldn’t allow me to. They were asking him to pay $20,000 to release me otherwise I’d have to stay in jail until my court case. I did not understand this was bail or how bail worked and I freaked out. I knew he would pay it and couldn’t allow him to do that. In a moment of desperation to get out of the cell, I took the pay phone off the wall and hit myself once across the forehead with it as hard as I could. I knew I had to injure myself to get out of the cell and into a hospital, and it was the only solution I could find to get myself out of there. This is incredibly out of character for me and is testament to how upset I was in that moment. I do not regret doing this as I could still be in the jail cell if I didn’t.
I blacked out again and woke up in a pool of my own blood with paramedics helping me onto a stretcher. The female officer I had spoke to earlier was there and I said “I don’t like you,” because I hoped she would have been the one to help me or give me support. I could tell she felt sympathetic but was unable to help. I didn’t see her again after that.
From there I was put into an ambulance and taken to hospital. There I was assigned a psychiatrist who was wonderfully kind and supportive. I told him the story and he was both sympathetic and understanding. I could tell that he believed me. I told him that I only hurt myself to get out of the jail cell and he confirmed that he thought that under the circumstances it was the best thing I could have done. I wish I knew his name because he was the person that stopped me losing it altogether in a crisis.
I was given stitches and had my body examined and my injuries photographed. I was later allowed to be released but given paperwork to appear in court at 8:30am on June 29th.
I left the hospital and got into a cab to the hotel where me and my friends were staying. They took me for breakfast to help me calm down and when I tried to eat I felt a terrible pain in my mouth and realised two more of my teeth were broken.
We wrote down this whole story and emailed it to a friend of ours who is a lawyer. We have this email dated and time stamped. We were advised to say nothing about the arrest or the police on social media until after the court case. Several of my followers reached out as they were worried after seeing snapchats from Riyadh and Melanie of the night’s events. I decided to post on Instagram to tell them that I’d been attacked, that I was okay, and that I would give the full story as soon as I could.
I attended court this morning, June 29th, but there was no record of my case on file. We’re going back later to try and resolve this fully.
I’m heartbroken about the events and these have been the worst few days of my life. Many people are trying to discredit my story but this is the full and entire truth. Just because there were no visible marks on my face does not mean I was not attacked. Being accused of being a liar and being called a disgrace to the LGBT+ community, a community I’ve dedicated my life to, is more painful than any hate crime could ever be.
I do not blame the individual police officers for what happened. They were just doing their jobs. I believe they genuinely believed I had not been attacked. I find it shocking, however, that there is not a system in place to protect victims. Victims should be given the benefit of the doubt and allowed immediate medical advice and council in a crisis.
The injuries sustained from the attack were as follows:
– Three broken teeth
– Cut and bruise on my collar bone (visible in the mug shot)
– Bruising to my left arm and shoulder, barely visible, but unable to raise arm fully
– Bruising on my right wrist
– Minor scrapes on body
The injuries sustained in the holding cell:
– One wound to the forehead which required six stitches
Thank you for those that believed me from the start. Your support has been the only thing that has gotten me and my friends through this nightmare of a situation. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Earlier this year, the video-maker spoke to PinkNews ahead of uploading earlier a video in which he revealed his past performing sex acts on webcam for money.