Italian teen ‘gay-bashing’ gang arrested after two men are beaten up
Eight Italian teenagers have been arrested for allegedly beating up two gay men and stealing from them in an apparent homophobic attack in Milan.
The boys are aged between 15 and 19-years-old. They were arrested after an incident that occurred outside a nightclub in January.
“Before beating us and stealing from us, they called us ‘froci’ [faggots],” the two victims told police.
The men were left with several injuries including a broken nose and further head injuries.
“They kept beating me up, even after I was bleeding on the ground,” one of the victims said.
After the arrests, one of the assaulted men named Michele said: “Now they can’t hurt anyone else. If they are really guilty I am happy they have been caught.”
A third man, a friend of the victims, managed to escape and called the emergency services.
“The prime motive was to offend and hurt, it was clearly a homophobic aggression,” he said.
“That is why they only stole one phone and wallet.”
Six of the alleged attackers were underage. The police tracked down the suspects by tracing a stolen phone that was sold on after the incident.
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At first, the gang told the police that the two men had pushed them and provoked their reaction.
However, security footage of the assault suggests that the attack was uninvited and that the reason behind it was the victims’ sexual orientation.
After the attack, a vigil was organised for the two men in Milan.
The day after the attack, Fabio Pellegatta, the president of Milan’s section of major Italian LGBT association Arcigay, said: “I consider it terrible that in a public street a gang could beat up two helpless young men. Milan needs a higher level of security.”
Italy is becoming a more liberal country towards LGBT rights with same-sex civil union legalised last year.
Watch the video of the attack below:
Anyone who has witnessed or experienced a hate crime is urged to call the police on 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit the True Vision website. In an emergency, always dial 999.