North Texas Gay Man Speaks Out After Assault - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

North Texas Gay Man Speaks Out After Assault

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LAMAR COUNTY, TX--What started as a night of fun ended in horror for one North Texas man. Now he's speaking out. He says he was beaten because he's gay.

It was a night that will remain seared in this man's memory.

"I was really really afraid," Burke Burnett said, victim of assault.

26-year-old Burke Burnett's arms are now wrapped in bandages. There's a gash on left eye and stab wounds in his torso.

It happened after a Halloween party last Saturday in Reno, Texas.

"Name calling, vicious, hateful slurs as they were doing what they did to me," Burnett said.

During the early hours of Sunday morning October 30th, Burnett was reportedly stabbed and thrown on top of a burn barrel.

"Simply because they felt like he's gay," Donald Haslam said, attorney. "That's evident from the sexual slurs that they were deploying while the beating was going on." 

Daniel Martin, James Mitchell Laster and Micky Joe Smith have been arrested in connection with the aggravated assault that happened that morning.

Burnett says he's lucky to be alive.

"Thank God, this is my first experience with something like this," Burnett said. "I know this happens all over but no I've never, I've never had anything like this happen to me."

According to the Reno Police, the three suspects have been charged with one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of aggravated assault to cause serious bodily injury. It will take time for the Lamar County District Attorney to decide if this is a hate crime.

"I hope that other people's awareness is also heightened because of this," Burnett said. "It still goes on and I hate that it does but it's an ugly reality."

For now, band aids cover Burnett's wounds. He hopes telling his story can keep this horrific experience from happening to someone else.

***

A petition is now circulating online demanding justice for Burke:

http://www.ch ange.org/petitions/petition-lamar-county-texas-da-to-charge-hate-crime-appr opriately

Dallas Voice Website: http://www.dallasvoice.com/paris-attack-1093329.html