Two suspects detained after gay couple is attacked

Two men needed medical treatment after being beaten in what they say was a homophobic attack in the East Flemish city of Ghent on Monday. Their alleged attackers are a couple that live in the same building as the men. The Judicial Authorities are investigating whether the attack that followed an argument at a car park was indeed homophobic in nature.

One of the victims sustained a head wound, while his partner suffered two broke vertebrae in the attack.     

The incident happened on the Scandinaviëstraat, a side street of the Afrikalaan. It started with a row between one of the men and a woman (who is their neighbour) at a car park.    

"When I started the car I saw that the woman spat on it”, one of the victims told VRT News. "My husband opened the door and asked her why she had done it. When he was knocked to the ground I got out too”. 

The woman’s husband joined in the dispute and a number of blows were thrown. The victim say that he took the steering-column lock out of the car to use as a weapon to protect himself. However, the male assailant took the lock from him and started to hit him with it.   

"He didn’t stop. I was in a great deal of pain, my head hurt too. After I was struck I had that I was dead. When I opened my eyes I saw them running away singing. They shouted ‘Stupid homos’”    

The victims, one Italian, the other American, say that this is not the first time that they have been insulted and provoked by their neighbours. They have had bricks and women’s underwear thrown onto their balcony and a few weeks ago one of them was slapped in the face.  

Meanwhile, the police have detained two suspects, a man and a women, both of whom are originally from Eastern Europe. The Judicial Authorities are now trying to get to the bottom of the circumstances surrounding the incident.