Two teens beaten senselessly for the crime of holding hands in broad daylight in ‘homophobic attack’
Two New Zealander teens who were holding hands were called homophobic slurs and attacked in broad daylight.
The mother of one of the victims labelled the incident a “hate crime” as the teens were “targeted because they were two girls holding hands”.
A police spokesperson confirmed to Stuff that they were alerted to an assault that took place in the vicinity of Egmont Street, New Plymouth around 5pm on Sunday 21 February. The spokesperson said: “Indications are that two people were assaulted.”
The police have encouraged anyone with information to come forward.
According to reports, the teens, who are aged 14 and 15, were seen holding hands by a group of around 13 teenagers. The 14-year-old’s mother claimed the group of teenagers started following the pair and shouted homophobic slurs at them.
‘There was blood’
She said the verbal assault then led to physical violence. The mother alleged: “Three or four girls from the group punched my child’s friend in the face at least six times.”
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She explained that her child, who prefers gender-neutral pronouns, tried to intervene and was also assaulted. The mother said her child had received abrasions and a bruised eye as a result of the attack.
She also said the victims told her they were “looking adults in the eye and screaming”, but no one intervened to help the teens.
As the assault came to an end, a worker at a local pharmacy stepped in, took the victims into the pharmacy and called their parents and the police.
Some of the attackers attended a victim’s school
The mother explained some of the alleged attackers attend the same school as her child, and she had kept her child home from school. She believed the perpetrators were a mix of genders and were aged around 13 to 17.
The mother said the high school, which she did not want to identify, had been notified of the attack.