Neb. Woman Brutally Attacked in Possible Hate Crime
A 30-year-old woman from Lincoln, Neb., told authorities she was violently attacked in a recent home break in and alleged the incident was a hate crime, the Lincoln Star reported.
The woman, who remains anonymous, said three men wearing masks assaulted her after they broke into her home. She claims the attackers bound her with zip ties, cut her and carved anti-gay epithets into her skin. The masked men also poured gasoline on her floor and lit it with a match.
Erin Thompson, a friend of the victim, told the Omaha World - Herald the woman was naked and bleeding but managed to crawl from her house to a neighbor’s home. She confirmed that the woman is a lesbian and said that the attackers carved the word "dyke" onto her arms and stomach.
ABC news affiliate KLKN-TV reports that friends say homophobic slurs were also spray-painted on the walls of the victim’s basement.
Police have not stated if the attack was motivated by hate based on the woman’s sexual orientation but the incident did deeply upset LGBT groups in the community. Tyler Richard, the president of Outlinc, a LGBT support group in Lincoln, said, "We are shocked and saddened by the report of an alleged hate crime involving a member of the LGBT community early Sunday morning."
"I have a lot of faith in our police department," Richard said. "We have a long history of support within our community. "Our hearts go out to the victim, her family and close friends. Many in our community are understandably experiencing a great deal of sadness, anger and confusion. We look to our entire community to pull together in this difficult time."
The community came together as hundreds of people attended a vigil in honor of the woman. Karen Bratton-Cranford, the president of the LGBT advocate group Star City Pride, spoke at the event.