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Watch: Hate Crime Charges Filed in Brutal Mob Beating of Gay Couple in D.C.

by Kilian Melloy
Wednesday Jun 19, 2019
Carl Craven and Braden Brecht relate the horrific beating they suffered at the hands of a group of teen assailants
Carl Craven and Braden Brecht relate the horrific beating they suffered at the hands of a group of teen assailants  (Source:Screen capture /

As reported at EDGE, an hour-plus crime wave in the nation's capital saw multiple victims assaulted and robbed by a number of teenagers — one of whom, a 15-year-old, was armed. The attacks took place in the early hours of June 16 in an area of Washington, D.C. that offers many bars, restaurants, and other night spots. Police characterized the perpetrators as targeting the area because late-night revelers would be easy pickings.

But at least two of the victims were a gay couple, one of whom was assaulted so viciously that his trip to the hospital landed him thousands of dollars in debt — and he might need further medical treatment. Police have now arrested three teenagers in connection with the beating, and those suspects face hate crime charges, reports.

Speaking with NBC, Carl Craven recalled how he and his boyfriend, Braden Brecht, were walking from one bar to another when a gang of assailants descended upon them after shouting a homophobic slur. Describing how Brecht took the brunt of the attack, Craven told the media, "I just saw like 10 guys just beating him."

Craven had been knocked to the ground and his wallet had been stolen, but he didn't hesitate to come to Brecht's defense. He related how "instinctively I just jumped on top of him and tried to shield him and was shouting, 'Help, help, help!' "

The NBC report noted that the men had moved to D.C. a month earlier because Craven has an internship in the city. But the couple is not so sure they wish to remain in D.C. after their horrifying experience.

In addition to hate crime charges, the suspects face "robbery with force and violence" charges related to the attack, in which Braden's phone was also stolen, reported USA Today.

Business Insider, reporting on the story, noted that violent bias crimes targeting LGBTQ people have skyrocketed in the aftermath of the 2016 elections.

"Anti-LGBTQ hate crimes increased by 17% in 2017, according to findings by the FBI," the Business Insider article said.

Earlier this year, a|GoFundMe page.

"Braden doesn't have insurance and will have ER, ambulance, and counseling bills, along with needing a new phone," text at the page says. "He will also be out of work for some time."

Watch the news clip below.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


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