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Hate-crime victim needs help, justice

Public safety
By JEFF INGLIS AND DEIRDRE FULTON  |  September 11, 2008

In response to a hate crime and the serious injuries inflicted on its victim over the weekend, there will be a concert at 9 pm Friday at the Asylum, to call attention to the crime and to raise money to help the insurance-less victim pay his medical bills.

The 31-year-old man, a local artist and performer, was approached by two men at 12:30 am Saturday, on Cumberland Avenue near the Forest Avenue intersection. The victim’s name is being withheld by his friends, police, and the Portland Phoenix to help protect him from future assaults and because he is suffering from head injuries that make him temporarily unable to decide whether to identify himself publicly.

During the encounter, the assailants — the victim described them to friends as a light-skinned black man and a white man — allegedly told the victim he “looked like a faggot,” and beat him into unconsciousness. According to his friend Merrie Cartwright, the victim remembers little after that, though he does recall a white car pulling up nearby.

Cartwright says the victim was taken to Maine Medical Center, where he was treated for a concussion and some bleeding on his brain. He has since been released and is resting at home, friends say. Many postings on his MySpace page and on other sites condemn the violence and express hope for his speedy recovery. One expressed concern that “hate crimes are on the rise in Portland,” saying this attack “is the third hate crime I have heard about in the past three months.”

At press time, Portland police officials had not returned multiple phone calls seeking information on the crime, though Cartwright says officers are following up on several leads.

At Friday’s 21+ event, DJ 8-bit, DJ Reverend Benjamin Powers, and DJ Doomsday Jones will spin goth and industrial music. The cover is $4. In addition, the victim’s friends have set up a Web site,www.HealPortland.com, to solicit donations to cover the victim’s medical costs.

  Topics: This Just In , Health and Fitness, Medicine, Crime,  More more >
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