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Arrests follow homophobic attack near K' Rd

Sat 1 Jun 2013 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

Two arrests have been made following an attack on two young gay men near Auckland's Karangahape Rd overnight. Mitch Kirdy, 19, says he is "sore and swollen" after he and his friend were assaulted on Howe St by two "big guys", after a torrent of homophobic abuse. “We passed two young men who started making homophobic remarks towards us such as ‘fuck off faggots, you fucking faggots’,” Kirdy says. “We tried ignoring and then just ended up saying ‘fuck off’ and we continued walking. The pair began to follow us as my friend had noticed and as I turned to say something to my friend I saw the men were right behind us. “A split second later one had started attacking my friend while the other was attacking me. “My friend went face first into the ground and both men then turned on me. Bystanders then broke up the attack and police and ambulance were called. “Both attackers were arrested. I am left with a black eye, a cut on my face. Bruised head and sore hip, and my friend had grazed up the centre of his face and a chipped tooth as well as damage to his mobile phone.” His friend Benjamin went into shock during the attack, and does not remember much, but has shared: "Officially the victim of a gay bashing ... My face is a mess and that's me off work. iPhone fucked and jaw/nose/tooth buggered." The attack comes as police report there has been a drop in recorded violence on the strip, which is home to Auckland's five gay bars, and the Police Minister has expressed confidence in the work police are putting in to mitigate alcohol-related violence in the area. The comments follow a community meeting in February to air concerns about a string of random attacks where gay men were victims. Gay victims of violence on and around K' Rd, 2011-2013: 31 May 2013 Two men assaulted after a torrent of homophobic abuse from two men. 22 February 2013 A gay Auckland man in his 30s was attacked by “four thugs” on the corner of the Ponsonby end of Karangahape Rd and Hereford St in the early hours of 22 February. Street workers stepped in to help the man, who fought back against the four attackers. Police were quick to act and the victim was able to pick the alleged offenders out from a line-up. All four arrested are teenagers and are now facing assault-related charges. 9 January 2013 Young gay man hospitalised after being knocked to the ground and kicked in the head by two assailants, 11.45PM on 9 January. He was about to get out of his car in a Karangahape Road side street when two youths asked him for cigarettes. Still in his car he said he didn't have any and showed them an empty packet. One of the pair then grabbed the key from the car's ignition and when the gay man got out to try to get them back he was attacked. 28 December 2012 A 23-year-old gay Auckland man was set upon in an unprovoked attacked as he walked on Mercury Lane, near the city's gay nightlife on December 28, a Friday night. A man "body-slammed" through a group of gay men, then punched the victim and slammed him face-first into the concrete. The man had to be pulled off by his "cousins" as he continued his attack. "I have a few fractures in my cheekbone and just near my left eye, some stitches in my chin. Half my face is numb, and I am extremely tired. My head hurts like crazy and I have to take a lot of drugs over the next few days to make sure I get better,” the victim told us. 7 September 2011 On Rugby World Cup opening night on 7 September Urge owner Paul Heard was on the door when three drunk men pulled up in a jeep outside the bar and proceeded to keep on drinking. He ignored them until they got out of the car and started urinating up against the store front. He approached them and said if they wanted to take a leak, perhaps they could go and use the empty car park around the corner. When he turned his back, one of them cracked him across the back of the head, knocking him to the ground where he blacked out for a few seconds. While others came out to help, he took photos of the culprits, their car and their licence plate with his camera phone before he was struck across the head again by these thugs. Four policemen turned up, at which point the men backed off about a hundred metres and feigned innocence. No arrests were made, despite a request from the victim for this to happen. As he spoke to police the trio stood at a safe distance yelling out “fucking faggots” and “it's Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve”. Police have since investigated their response and action disciplinary has been taken. June 2011 Trevor Kaukau, then 40, suffered brain damage after being punched to the ground outside a nightclub on Auckland's K' Rd in June 2011, by 20-year-old Sitaleki Langi Koloamatangi. Koloamatangi was imprisoned for a year after pleading guilty to the charge of injuring that, had death been caused, he would have been guilty of manslaughter. The defence contended he punched Kaukau after he sexually propositioned him twice, “and like many young men he responded badly to that. No one is suggesting that was appropriate, but he didn't go out looking for a fight.” January 2011 Longtime poster designer for K' Rd bear bar Urge Simon Stockley had knee reconstruction surgery after being pushed out onto the road in front of Scorpio Club early on a Sunday morning in January 2011. The designer was not really sure what happened, as the attack occurred very quickly and he simply recalls waking up surrounded by people.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Saturday, 1st June 2013 - 7:22pm

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