A 15-year-old boy has turned himself into Amsterdam police after being accused of yelling anti-gay slurs at and spitting on a gay couple.
The couple, Fabio Viana and Daniel Schepers, claim they were accosted and insulted by a group of young people while walking to a supermarket on Molukkenstraat in Amsterdam on Sunday. Among other things, the group allegedly called the couple “kankerhomos,” or “cancer gays,” as well as “cancer suckers” and “faggots.”
In the video, the chief suspect is shown trying to film himself and the couple with his phone, repeatedly insulting them, and punching or kicking the camera, which Viana was holding. At one point, the youth says, “Amsterdam, gays is not normal,” in English.
Bystanders tried to de-escalate the situation, and police were called to the scene. Before police arrived, the teens left the scene, with the one who was caught on film riding away on the back of a scooter.
But witnesses say after police left, two of them, including the suspect, returned to the scene and spit in the couples’ faces.
“I really didn’t expect this in a country like the Netherlands,” Viana wrote in a post on his Facebook page that was later deleted. “Maybe in my native Brazil, but not here. If nothing is done now, they can continue with their intolerance.”
Viana and Schepers say that they have faced discrimination before, but are sick of being victims.
“I hope it helps to share this story,” Fabio told local news outlet AT5. “This makes me so angry. That this is happening here in 2020 without us provoking anything.”
Viana has since added a fundraiser on Facebook, asking visitors to his page to donate to the Dutch Cancer Society.
“If every person who watched this video would donate 1 euro, we could have 800,000 euros to help people who are facing this terrible disease,” he wrote. “If everyone who shared the video would donate 1 euro, we would have 19,000 euros. If every person who commented on this video would also donate 1 euro, we would have 18,000 euros. If every person who reacted on this video would donate 1 euro, we would have 14,000 euros. In the end, WE COULD EASILY HAVE 851,000 EUROS! Help to find a cure for cancer because your LOVE can cure hate.”
According to the newspaper Het Parool, the 15-year-old in the video turned himself in to police on Monday. He was previously arrested in another case.
The teen has since spoken to YouTuber Youness Ouaali for an interview, in which the teen alleges that Viana pushed him first and that the couple made anti-Muslim statements to him before they started filming. He claims he has no animosity towards gay people.
The teen’s lawyer, Anis Boumanjal, says that the video only shows one side of the story. He also objects to the fact that several boys were involved in the incident, yet only his client appears in the video and is the sole suspect in custody.
Boumanjal says his client was upset by the anti-Muslim comments allegedly made by the couple and was “captivated by emotion and improperly expressed his anger.”
“It is probably not an excuse but a plausible explanation for the behavior of an underage child,” he added.
The LGBTQ public safety advocacy group Pink in Blue reported that the teen was being held in custody because he violated the terms of his parole relating to a previous charge. He will likely be placed under house arrest while he awaits trial.
The group has called on anyone with additional information about the incident to contact police. The investigation remains ongoing.
Watch video of the altercation below:
Amsterdam. 2020. Homo's worden lastig gevallen en moeten maar kanker krijgen. Want, homo zijn is niet normaal, volgens deze "nederlanders" 😡 pic.twitter.com/pGn9MV0vpX
— Miep 🇳🇱 (@Jodelieho) April 13, 2020
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