Sydney police officers are looking into four separate accounts of assault against members of the LGBT+ community during the Pride celebration of Mardi Gras this weekend.
One incident saw Nicholas Bucknell – an openly gay man – attacked and robbed by five men just hours before the parade.
Bucknell told The Star Observer that the attack happened after he was unable to hail an Uber:
“I couldn’t get one so I thought I’d walk up to the main street and that’s when the attack happened.”
The group of men surrounded and mugged him before he was punched and knocked to the ground. The men then started stomping on his head.
“I managed to get away two or three times and each time they ran after me, got me back on the ground and started stomping on my head again.”
Bucknell was taken to the hospital where he received treatment for his injuries. He has since been discharged and is resting in his family home.
He spoke to Gay Star News about his reaction to the attack:
“I’m still in a state of shock. Everything thinks of Australia as a fairly safe place. No one thinks these kinds of attacks happen in Australia.
“I feel a bit like my world’s been turned upside down. It’s all a bit frustrating. I spent the weekend in so much pain.”
Police are currently investigating four separate incidents of assault that occurred over Mardi Gras, including Bucknell’s.
Tony Crandell, the Assistant Police Commissioner released a statement condemning the attacks against the community:
“Where evidence is available of attacks upon members of the LGBTIQ communities motivated by homophobia, all details will be reported to the judiciary for the imposition of sentences that reflect the extent of circumstances.”
The Sydney police officer continued:
“The NSW Police Force will never condone violence, especially that motivated by homophobia at a time of LGBTIQ celebration.”
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