PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – Pittsburgh police have charged one man for allegedly attacking a gay man, but a defense attorney says the victim wasn’t targeted because of his sexuality.
Police charged 24-year-old Vincent Happ on Wednesday. He’s accused of punching and kicking 26-year-old Benjamin Stoviak, who was leaving a Lawrenceville bar early Sunday morning with his boyfriend.
According to the criminal complaint Happ says he and two friends were speaking to each other when an anti-gay slur was used, and that it wasn’t directed at Stoviak. Defense attorney Charles Gallo says the fight was a drunken brawl, and not anything to do with being gay.
Happ was charged via summons with one count of simple assault, and police say they’re still investigating.
Hundreds gathered in Lawrenceville Wednesday to rally against hate after a gay couple was attacked over the weekend.
Organizers of the “Stop the Hate” rally are hoping to promote awareness and safety for everyone.
The rally was organized by members of the LGBT community who say their sick of hearing about violence against people because of their sexual preference.
A gay advocacy group has contacted the local FBI, and the District Attorney’s office, in hopes of getting the incident classified as a hate crime.
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