By SANCHESKA DORSETT
Tribune Staff Reporter
AN American man who was allegedly attacked by a group of persons during a concert at Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival early Saturday morning is alleging that he was “targeted and beat up” because he is gay.
In an interview with The Tribune minutes after leaving Doctors Hospital where he was treated for a laceration to his head, 24-year-old Adrian Brown, who was born in Jamaica but lives in the United States, said he wants the persons who were involved in the fight to be charged with a hate crime. He said he will be pursuing the case when he returns to the US today and he also plans on suing for medical bills and pain and suffering.
Mr Brown, a Navy officer who came to the Bahamas to participate in Junkanoo Carnival, said he was dancing at the concert late Friday into early Saturday when he felt someone throw water on him.
“So I was at the concert and there was a stoop and I stepped up on the stoop and I was dancing,” Mr Brown told The Tribune “This was about 3am in the morning. So I am dancing and having a good time. I had on a cut out shirt and fitted pants and I felt when some water hit me. So I looked back and I got up off the stoop and I said to the guy, ‘Why did you hit me with the water,” and he said ‘Because you a batty man,’” Mr Brown claimed.
“Batty man” is Jamaican slang for a homophobic slur.
“Now I don’t think he knew that I am originally from Jamaica,” Mr Brown continued. “So before anything could happen his girlfriend came up in my face and slapped me and then four people just jumped me,” he claimed. “Two girls and two guys. Then two Bahamian men jumped in and started helping me. There was no conversation, they just started fighting me. I am not a fighter, I came here to the Bahamas to have fun, party and go back home. I don’t know these people from Adam and they do not know me and they were hitting me and beating me in my head with a rock. He just said ‘you are a batty man’ and they all jumped me. After the incident the other two guys that helped me held one of the guys until the police came.”
Mr Brown said he went to the police station and was taken to Princess Margaret Hospital a short time later but because of the long wait he went to Doctors Hospital where he was treated and discharged.
Despite the ordeal, he said he would come back to the Bahamas and will not let this one incident change his opinion of Bahamians.
“I am going back home tomorrow (Monday) but I am going to pursue this case. I am going to make sure as soon as I get off that plane in the morning I am going to call the Department of State and make sure that it is reported,” he said.
“I think they assumed because the way I was dressed that I was gay and I am gay, but I don’t know anyone here so they would not have known that. This was a hate crime. The police were very good, I went to the police station and they called the ambulance for me. I was still able to participate in carnival. I went on the truck but I couldn’t do what I wanted, I wanted to be on the road but I was hurt and slept most of the time.”
Mr Brown claimed police arrested one man.
This could not be confirmed up to press time, however Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Stephen Dean said police were looking into the allegations.
This is not the first time a gay man claimed to have been attacked during a Bahamas Carnival event.
Last year, police were investigating allegations that a Nassau Street brawl captured on video was the result of a homophobic attack.
The brawl took place on the sidelines of the Road Fever street parade.
A video recording of the fight went viral alongside a voice recording of a distraught woman, who claimed that two of her gay friends were beat up because of their appearance.
In the video, a group of men and women can be seen swinging metal chairs and fighting. Although several police officers were standing by, only a male inspector is seen making an attempt to break up the fight as three women officers watched the scene.
“My two gay friends just get beat like a dog,” the unidentified woman sobs in the 2016 voice recording.
“We was on Nassau Street and they beat them just for having on tight shirt, they beat them bad. My friend teeth out his mouth and everything, they ain’t do nothing they just was walking over to Super Value. They just was walking, they get beat for nothing,” the woman claimed.
At the time, then Assistant Commissioner Stephen Dean said that no complaint had been filed in connection with the matter. He said he had not received any report that the matter involved members of the LGBT community.