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Gay Man Held Hands with Partner, Then Dragged by Car in Homophobic Attack

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Monday September 7, 2020

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Stock Image  (Source:Getty Images)

Three suspects have been charged in connection with a gay man being dragged more than 75 feet by a car in Orillia, a city in Ontario, Canada.

The victim and his partner were targeted for abuse after the people in the car saw the men holding hands, reports local news source Simcoe.com.

The incident unfolded at about 10:30 on the night of Aug. 28. The two men were walking hand in hand near the city's waterfront when the occupants of a passing car began to hurl homophobic abuse and epithets at them. The car drove off, only to reappear a short time later, and the car's occupants sprayed the couple with beer, reports Canadian site Global News. They also threw a beer can at the men.

The car drove off once more, but approached the men yet again, news reports said, at which point the dragging victim approached the car and attempted to speak with the driver. But as he was speaking, the driver suddenly accelerated, dragging the man more than 75 feet. The victim did not suffer serious injury, but the car's occupants were subsequently arrested and the driver — identified as 23-year-old James Ley — was charged with dangerous operation of a vehicle and assault. Two other people - Eric Artindale, and Roarke McCooeye, both 21, were charged with assault.

News reports said that the three are expected in court Nov. 17.

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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