Metro Weekly

Florida man says he was attacked for being gay

Victim claims another motorist attacked him over the pro-LGBT bumper stickers on his car

Redding - Photo: WFTS.

Chuck Redding – Photo: WFTS.

A man in Sarasota, Fla., says he was followed and attacked for being gay by another motorist who objected to marriage equality and rainbow bumper stickers on his car.

Chuck Redding says a driver in a dark-colored Jeep followed him as he drove home from dropping off a friend. Redding initially dismissed the other driver as a “jerk that was following too close,” he tells Tampa Bay area ABC affiliate WFTS

But as he turned onto his street, he noticed the car was still following him. He decided to park in front of a neighbor’s house, when the other driver jumped out of his car and began banging on Redding’s windows. 

“He yanked the door open, dragged me out, ripped my shirt,” says Redding. “I was on the pavement. He kept saying, ‘You know, my new president says we can kill all you faggots now.'”

Redding sustained bruises on his arm, cuts on his hand, scrapes on his knee, and had part of his toenail ripped off during the attack. He’s now considering getting a concealed carry permit, and is encouraging others to do the same.

“If I can carry a weapon in my waistband, so that it can be seen at least, maybe these people will think different,” Redding says.

Redding is just one of several victims who appear to have been targeted because of their minority status in the wake of the presidential election. He has since filed a report with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating the incident. 

The suspect is described as a Hispanic man with a beard, driving a dark-colored Jeep Cherokee. Those with any information about the attack are encouraged to contact the sheriff’s office.

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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