ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- A Charlotte couple says they were beaten and verbally abused for being gay. The couple was visiting Asheville when they say a group of total strangers decided to attack.
Dustin Martin and Mark Little live together in Charlotte.
“We never expected anything like that to happen in Asheville,” Little said. “It was scary as hell.”
Two weeks ago they were walking along the street having left a known gay bar when they were attacked. They say two girls leaned out of a passing truck shouting gay slurs at them. Then they say a man jumped out from the backseat and attacked.
“A guy got out of the car and hit Dustin in the chest a couple of times and hit me in the eye,” Little said.
“Mark asked him to get off me. He turned around and busted Mark’s eye open. He was down on the ground. There was blood everywhere,” Martin said.
But it is the gay slurs they endured that seem most painful.
“It hurt my pride a lot,” Little noted.
“I would rather be mugged—someone hit me and take my money. Your pride is taken when you are hit because you like other men. You can disagree with it all you want but that you would attack somebody because of it,” Martin added.
Mark's face is mostly healed and Dustin's chest is fine. It is a deeper hurt, they say, that will stay with them.
Asheville police are investigating but so far have made no arrests. This is not considered a hate crime because sexuality is not protected under North Carolinas statute.