Originally published: Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, 11:34 a.m.
Updated: Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, 1:24 p.m.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A local couple alleges they were victims of an anti-gay assault while they were on vacation in Asheville in late September.

Mark Little’s injuries after the anti-gay assault as seen in this photo provided by Dustin Martin.

Dustin Martin and Mark Little say they were leaving Scandals, a gay bar in downtown Asheville, and walking back to their hotel during the early morning of Sept. 23 when two young women began hurling anti-gay slurs at them from a passing car.

Martin told qnotes in an interview via phone on Friday that the young women began slowly following him and his partner as they tried to walk way. A bit further down the sidewalk and after being called “faggot” and other slurs “15 or 20 times,” Martin said, he eventually turned toward the vehicle and told the women to leave them alone.

Martin admits that he and Little were drinking that night and said he used profanity in his response to the women, who he thinks were also drinking. His response, Martin guessed, is what prompted a man, who they had not previously seen, to jump out of the backseat of the car. The man first attacked Martin, hitting him about four times in the chest and on his collar bone. Little, Martin said, attempted to stop the man who turned around and punched Little in the face.

Neither Martin nor Little received serious injuries and neither were taken to the hospital.

Local news stations report that Asheville police are still investigating the assault and that no arrests have been made. A call to an Asheville detective handling the case was unreturned at the time of this article’s publication.

Sexual orientation and gender identity are not protected classes in state hate crime laws, though a federal law passed in 2009 protects LGBT victims of hate crimes. Local authorities must request federal assistance before federal hate crime charges can be considered.

Martin and Little say the nature of the attack has hurt the most. “I would rather be mugged,” Martin told local news station WCNC. “Your pride is taken when you are hit because you like other men.”

The young women and man, Martin feels, were looking for a fight.

“We both had the impression that this was something they knew they were going to do,” Martin told qnotes. “They were asking for a response. They were wanting to get a rise out of somebody. You just don’t slow down your car and start calling someone a ‘faggot’ for no reason.”

Stay tuned for more updates on this developing story.

Other local reports: WCNC, WSOC, WBTV

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.

2 replies on “Updated: Charlotte couple alleges anti-gay attack in Asheville”

  1. I used to carry pepperspray, after being mugged 4x. I hoped that the next time around I would have the wit and wherewithal to use it. BTW a good punch of kick in the crotch works pretty good too, that is if you can keep your wits about you. Im not being mean, I mean its hard to keep wits when you’re scared to death that attackers might have guns. A concealed carry permit is not too hard to get in NC either.

  2. It sure seems that these people were using predatory practices by stalking these two individuals for the soul purpose of causing harm. This my friends is a hate crime at its best. If local law enforcement fails to do there job by vigorously investigating this crime then a call to the FBI office in Charlotte will launch an investigation to bring these bandits to justice.. This incident shows the LGBT community that Bu-Ba is still alive and kicking so be careful.

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