Watch: Memphis Man Says He was Beaten at Zoo Because He's Gay
A Tennessee man says he was jumped and attacked by a group of men and women at the Memphis Zoo Tuesday after being asked if he's gay, WMC Action News 5 reports.
Reginald Buckner, 23, said a group of women approached him and his friends at the zoo and asked to borrow his cell phone. After telling them they couldn't use his phone, the women asked Buckner if he and his friends are gay.
"They just asked all of us were we gay and we were like, 'Yeah' and they say,' You know you're going to hell right?' and I said, 'Wow,'" he told the news station.
That's when a group of men joined the women and they allegedly verbally and physically assaulted Buckner.
"They just started out of nowhere physically assaulting," Buckner told WMC.
At one point during the incident, someone noticed one of the women had a gun and yelled "gun!" This sparked zoo visitors to run away.
"That's what made everyone start running away when they had the gun," Buckner said. "When she lifted up the gun everybody just started running."
As a result of the alleged attack, Buckner was sent to the emergency room where he was treated for bruising on his back, a swollen face, and a black eye.
Police came to the scene but said the suspects already fled the scene. They are currently on the lookout for the attackers.
Buckner went on to say he's upset with zoo officials who didn't do more to protect visitors. Buckner added that he's concerned zoo officials didn't search people upon entrance.
"I am just literally just disgusted by them period. Because of the simple fact that they want to search everyone everywhere else. Why don't they want to search at the zoo for weapons?" Buckner told the news station.
The Memphis Zoo released a statement regarding the incident.
"This was an isolated incident. The safety of all of our guests is of utmost importance and one of our top priorities," the zoo said. "This matter is currently being handled by the Memphis Police Department."
Watch WMC's report on the incident below.