Beating's Good-Bye

Gay Washingtonian plans to leave city after bias-related attack

When Francisco J. Martin was mugged in the Shaw neighborhood a month and a half ago, he was not physically assaulted.

”They only took my bag,” Martin says. ”It didn’t really do anything to me.”

But the 29-year-old Venezuelan’s second run-in with criminals, in the evening hours of July 6 two blocks away from his Petworth home, has left him physically and emotionally scarred.

”I started running,” Martin says of the incident in which he claims two African-American men chased him, one of them carrying a wooden paddle.

”They started running behind me. The first hit was on my forehead. I almost lost consciousness. At that point the other guy was on top of me, nailing me on the floor. The other one was using the wood board, just beating me right on my head and on my back, calling me ‘faggot.”’

The Metropolitan Police Department confirms that no robbery occurred and that Martin was involved ”a vicious attack” on the 800 block of Emerson Street NW. MPD has classified the incident as a bias-related assault with a dangerous weapon.

Martin can’t remember how long the beating lasted. But once it was over, his attackers left him in torn clothing, soaked in blood.

Martin, who works as a makeup artist and studies chemistry at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC), says the attack has scarred him enough to leave the District, where he has lived for eight years.

”There’s no doubt in my mind,” he says. ”I want to move away.”

Police Capt. Edward Delgado said on July 8 that detectives from MPD’s Fourth District are working specifically with MPD’s Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit (GLLU) and are looking for ”three to five black males in [their] 30s who came after the victim using words that are offensive.”

And while MPD has not released descriptions of the suspects, Martin says he remembers his assailants’ faces perfectly.

”Being in the makeup industry, if there’s one thing I can remember perfectly it’s people’s faces,” he says.

Martin describes the assailant who beat him with the wooden paddle as an African-American man in his late-to-mid 20s, athletic build, about five feet and eight inches tall, roughly 150 pounds, with ”fine features and nose” and a ”very light, well-groomed goatee,” wearing a yellow polo shirt and jeans.

He describes a second assailant as an African-American male with a dark complexion, five feet and 11 inches tall, 180 pounds, with ”a more pronounced nose” and no facial hair, wearing blue shorts and a white tank top.

Joe Montoni, co-chair of Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence (GLOV), says the organization is working with Martin.

”At this point there’s not a lot to go on, because an ID for a suspect hasn’t been made,” he says. “So we’re working with the victim and trying to assist him in seeing [his] case through.”

While Martin chose not to go to a hospital for his injuries immediately after his attack, he says he is planning to seek medical attention as he is still suffering from bruising, headaches and chronic dizziness.

”I just recall what happened and I can’t sleep.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact MPD by calling 202-727-9099. Information may be submitted anonymously by calling 1-866-411-TIPS. For more information about GLOV, visit glovdc.org.