Richard Jones, a gay man from Utah, was brutally assaulted and forced to drink bleach by unknown assailants when he was closing a family pizzeria on April 25. In addition, his house was vandalized and a molotov cocktail was thrown out of the window. Jones might not have suspected the attack to be targeted towards his sexuality, until the men carved the words “Die F*g” on his skin and his garage door to add to the humiliation. As per his statement:
?’I remember coming back into the restaurant and thinking, “That’s kind of weird?I didn’t hear the door close,” and as I turned around I felt someone grab the back of my head and smash it into a wall, I remember waking up on the floor with someone pinning my chest and legs down, trying to force me to drink a bottle of bleach. I then tried kneeing one of the assailants and punched another one in the face, and I don’t remember anything else. It was just pure shock at that moment,’ he said. ‘I didn’t really know what to say or think, I was just in shock.’?
This incident is getting quite a lot of support from locals in Delta, with many planning to raise a fund to support the family. Locals have organized an event on Facebook to eat at their restaurant as a fundraiser. Those interested can join it here.
Senator Jim Dabakis sai:
?I met a remarkable man who is taking this with seriousness and the ability to move on, I’m not sure I would have that kind of strength having endured the kind of physical violence he has.?
The sheriff, the FBI and state one state attorney for Utah assured that the case is a top priority and that they are investigating it accordingly.
?It’s something me and my family will work through, and through it hopefully it will make us stronger people, and, who knows, maybe we’ll be able to help someone else out through it someday, help someone else from our experiences.?