Gay man afraid to leave his house after being hit with hammer in brutal ‘homophobic hate crime’
A gay man has said he was afraid to leave his house after he was hit in the face with a hammer in a suspected homophobic hate crime.
Lóránt-Árpád Tompos was attacked between 2am and 2.30am on Saturday 18 August in the seaside town of Torquay, Devon.
Tompos decided to speak out about his experience because he wants others in the LGBT+ community to know about the dangers that can sometimes lurk in plain sight.
Speaking to PinkNews, Tompos said he was “very concerned and frightened to go outside again” in the weeks after the shocking attack.
The incident occurred at the tail-end of a night out in Torquay with friends. While walking home, a group of men and women started “antagonising” Tompos and his friends.
“One of the girls made a phone call on speaker phone and loudly said she was being harassed by gays, next thing you know another group of males had arrived outside my friend’s house,” Tompos explained.
The altercation quickly escalated when one of the men took out a hammer and approached Tompos.
“I never thought for a second he was actually going to use it,” Tempo said. “The next thing, I found myself on the floor and my head was hurting.”
Gay man needed facial surgery after ‘cowardly and vicious’ suspected hate crime
Tompos described the attack – which left him with extensive injuries to his face – as “cowardly and vicious”. However, he also knows that he’s lucky to be alive – the hammer missed his temple by just a couple of inches. If it had landed slightly higher, he could have been killed.
In the weeks that followed, Tompos “wasn’t able to do anything”. He couldn’t eat after the attack because he was in “constant pain”, and he later had a metal plate put into his face as part of his treatment plan.
He is now afraid to talk to strangers and to leave his house.
“If it was just two centimetres further up towards the temple I wouldn’t be here today,” Tompos said.
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“That’s the hardest part to accept, that he could have caught me on the temple and I would be dead. It’s like a wake up call for me to realise how precious life is.”
A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed that authorities are “investigating reports of a hate crime and assault causing grievous bodily harm with intent”.
In September, a 22-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault. He was later released on bail until 21 October while police make further inquiries.
The attack is just one of many homophobic incidents that have occurred in the UK in recent months. LGBT+ people in Birmingham have been left in fear over a spate of shocking anti-LGBT+ attacks.