Popular Youtube personality Calum McSwiggan faked his homophobic attack according to LA County Sheriff’s Department
Yesterday it was reported that Calum McSwiggan, a British Youtuber with a following of sixty-two thousand subscribers, was the victim of a homophobic attack in WeHo (West Hollywood, Los Angeles). Now it is emerging that he may have been the source of his own injuries.
Late on Monday night Calum went to a gay bar in WeHo after having attended VidCon. McSwiggan was accompanied by Irish Youtuber Riyadh Khalaf as well as other friends from the VidCon.
Police report that McSwiggan was caught vandalising a car after they were called to investigate the unsubstantiated attack the Youtuber had suffered.
Police examined McSwiggan for injuries before he was arrested for vandalism. According to their report, he did not show physical evidence of having been attacked.
Police brought the Youtuber to the station and processed him, taking a mugshot for their records. In the photo McSwiggan does not appear to be physically harmed.
When Calum was in custody at the station, police say they witnessed him physically injuring himself with the handle and receiver of a payphone inside a cell, after which he was brought to hospital.
“Worst Night Of My Life”
It was here that Calum took photos and posted to social media, documenting his assault:
“Last night was the worst night of my life,” Calum posted to Facebook and Instagram, “and I’m really struggling to find the words to talk about it.”
“After one of the most wonderful weekends at VidCon we went out to a gay club to celebrate, and towards the end of the evening I was separated from my friends and beaten up by three guys.”
“The authorities should have been there to help and protect me but instead they treated me like a second class citizen.”
“With three broken teeth and six stitches in my forehead, I’ve never felt so terrified to be a gay man in the public eye.”
At this point McSwiggan thanks his friends, including Riyadh, for being there for him through the whole ordeal.
Last night was the worst night of my life and I'm really struggling to find the words to talk about it. After one of the most wonderful weekends at VidCon we went out to a gay club to celebrate, and towards the end of the evening I was separated from my friends and beaten up by three guys. The authorities should have been there to help and protect me but instead they treated me like a second class citizen. With three broken teeth and six stitches in my forehead, I've never felt so terrified to be a gay man in the public eye. All I can do is thank my wonderful YouTube friends for being with me the whole way. I'd be lost without them. Right now I don't feel that I'm in the right place to talk about this but I will be addressing this fully in the future. UPDATE: I've posted a full statement of the night's events on my Facebook page.
The statement from he Sheriff’s Department can be read below:
“The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has an affirmative duty to fully investigate all assaults and reports of violence in our community.
“Deputies from West Hollywood Station responded to and investigated the report by Calum McSwiggan that he was assaulted by three males after leaving a local nightclub early Monday morning.
“Responding deputies were unable to substantiate the assault. Mr. McSwiggan, who had no visible injuries, was subsequently arrested after deputies observed him vandalizing a car in the 8900 block of Santa Monica Boulevard.”
“After being booked and photographed, Mr. McSwiggan was placed into a cell by himself at West Hollywood Station.
“Mr. McSwiggan was then observed injuring himself with the handle and receiver to a payphone inside the cell.
“Medical personnel were summoned and Mr. McSwiggan was transported to a local hospital for treatment.
“Mr. McSwiggan’s booking photo was taken prior to deputies seeing Mr. McSwiggan injuring himself. That booking photo is attached.”
While Riyadh was not a witness to the attack, he does say on Twitter that he “saw Cal screaming crying after the attack,” before affirming his belief that his friend “didn’t fake it.”
We’ve reached out to Riyadh to get an official statement, but have yet to receive a response.
If it turns out that McSwiggan did fabricate the homophobic attack, then the online community of followers he has amassed will feel foolhardy for having believed him.
Calum, who joined Youtube in 2012, has one hundred and fifty-nine videos with over five million views in total which gives an idea of his influence in the online arena.
This highlights what he has to lose if the Sheriff’s Department statement is to be believed.
On Instagram, comments are getting a little inflammatory:
“I would urge everyone to UNFOLLOW YOU, to you that would really feel like kick [sic] in your face,” said Iaingoode.
While cases of LGBT people being targeted for hate crimes do exist, instances like this which appear to be illegitimate call into question the veracity of all reported homophobic attacks.
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