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Alleged gaybashing occurs near Victoria gay club

Alleged gaybashing occurs near Victoria gay club

No suspects yet in vicious, late-night attack
A 22-year-old man says he is “definitely afraid of being alone on the streets now” after he was allegedly gaybashed in the early morning hours of Sept 2 as he was heading home from a Victoria gay nightclub. 
 
Josh Brighton, who recently moved to Victoria from Ottawa to serve in the navy, had just left Paparazzi and was attempting to hail a cab alone around 1:45am at the corner of Douglas and Johnson streets — a block away from the club — when he heard two men call him “faggot.”
 
“I said, ‘Yeah, I am gay,’ and I asked them if they had a problem with that,” Brighton told Xtra. “They said, ‘Yeah.’” He says the two men then allegedly started hitting him. 
 
Brighton says he attempted to run back to the club for safety, but the men gave chase. The men allegedly knocked him down, hit him repeatedly on the head and shouted hate slurs at him.
 
“I don’t remember the exact slurs or whatever they used,” he says. “I got knocked down a couple times and was in flight. It lasted about three to four minutes.”
 
Brighton, who is 5’6”, says he didn’t fight back against his attackers, both of whom he describes as being about 6’ tall. 
 
Brighton suffered bruises on both sides of his head, his leg and his hand and cuts on the inside of his mouth.
 
“It was two versus one. Fighting back would have escalated it,” he says. “I was on the phone with 911, and one of the guys pointed out that I was trying to call the cops, and the other one took my phone and smashed it,” Brighton further alleges. 
 
Police did not arrive at the scene.
 
The attackers eventually stopped when Brighton managed to get back to Paparazzi, where he remained until the club closed 10 minutes later.  
 
This reporter happened to be at Paparazzi and saw Brighton immediately after the alleged attack. His shirt was stained with a large smear of blood, and his smashed BlackBerry lay in pieces on Broad St in front of the club. Brighton was visibly shaken, crying and not speaking coherently at the time. 
 
One of the bartenders at Paparazzi says Brighton told him what happened but that Brighton refused his offer to call the police for him. A club patron eventually helped Brighton into a cab to get home. 
 
The next morning, Brighton reported the incident to military command, who ordered him to get himself checked out at the military hospital. Despite bruising on both sides of his head, he was found to have no concussions. 
 
Victoria police say they are investigating the assault as a hate crime, but say they have no leads at present. 
 
Sgt Jamie McRae of the Victoria Police Department (VPD) says that Brighton first filed his complaint to the VPD at 9am that morning, making it difficult for the police to find suspects.
 
“There have been no witnesses that [Brighton’s] been able to provide,” McRae says. He says police have not issued a public call for witnesses either. 
 
“We usually want to get video first. When we have something like this, when it’s reported after the fact, the first thing we do is to find video from the nearby businesses,” McRae says. “Unfortunately, [Paparazzi’s] video surveillance stream does not record outside the club.”
 
McRae says the VPD is contacting businesses on Johnson St to see if any of them have surveillance of the street. 
 
Assault victims should report incidents to the police as soon as possible in order to aid investigations and potentially lead to arrests, McRae says.
 
“It’s much more difficult to recapture information after the fact if we don’t get the report until morning,” he adds. “We would usually try to respond to complaints as they happen, flood the area with police to try to find suspects and witnesses.”
 
Statistics Canada recently reported that the number of reported gaybashings in Canada doubled in 2008 compared to 2007, a trend some say points to greater willingness of victims to report hate crimes to the police. 
 
Meanwhile, Brighton says he is recovering from his injuries. 
 
“Physically, I’m kinda sore still,” he says. “It’s very traumatizing. It shakes you that walking down a Canadian street, especially in British Columbia, that you think you’re safe. This shook my belief in that.”

Comments

Shame On You
Shame on Paparazzi and their staff for being so self absorbed that the only thing they care about is the money in their pockets. This is by far the first gaybashing and by far the last gaybashing that will be swept under the rug at Paparazzi infact I know of a few more that have not made it to the papers. Kudos to Rob for writing an article on this very unfortunate turn of events and for also shining the light on something that has been happening for awhile now. The community needs to know that this is happening. Also I would like take the time to state that I have met Josh who is a really nice guy who didn't deserve any of this treatment. I would like to thank him for not being afraid to open his mouth and publicly bring this to the community's attention. I hope you are doing well Josh and that this isn't the lasting impression you leave Victoria with. I am very sorry you have had to be introduced to the community in such a hateful way......
Are you...
Helina--are you high? "Wounds heal but verbal attacks don't?" I'd say there's a big difference between mentioning Paparazzi in an article and being physically and verbally assaulted. You're obviously not a lawyer, and you obviously don't have very apt legal counsel if you think that anything in this article constitutes slander. I would kindly ask that you refrain from using my name and what happened to me in your pathetic defence of the bar, which by the way, isn't even necessary as the only people who have steered the discussion away from the assault and focused the attention on Paparazzi are yourself and the staff members of the bar.
Just a ? For You Helina
Sounds to me Helina you just posted a big ad for your friends nightclub. Nothing really about the victim of the assault who came on here to defend himself after being attacked , more or less, and judged by your 'very supportive" bartender. What you are really worried about is your stupid club and it's reputation not the incident that night. Pretty disgusting in my view. So the attack didn't happen in your friends club the victim was there and ran back because he thought it was a refuge of some sort. Obviously not. What would make an employee come on this site and minimize what happened to one of the customers of the club? Your idiotic response speaks volumes.
Gaybashing of a different kind...
Mr. Salerno, All this talk about gaybashing...in my opinion you’re gaybashing! What you have done by putting your many revised versions of this article out on a number of sites, links and tagging people is gaybashing of a different kind! It isn’t a physical assault but written, another word for it is "Libel". Let’s not forget that you were under the influence of alcohol when you were reporting!!! You’re no better than the attacker that assaulted Josh Brighton. Wounds will heal but the verbal attacks don’t. Enough is enough...
You didn't do your homework did you??? Part 2...
A word on SLANDER...it is the spoken or transitory form of defamation of character; a legal term that refers to a falsehood presented as true which could harm the reputation of a person or entity. The defaming a man in his reputation by speaking or writing words which affect his life, office, or trade which is exactly what Salerno has done. Shame on you...
You didn’t do your homework did you???
Oh my…this article is not reported factually! In fact, I was with Attila in Vancouver when we found out about the assault. I am a witness to the conversation that took place with Attila, Rob and Terry. The four of us communicated via conference call when we were told about this awful assault and the first thing that Attila asked was who the victim was and if they were alright. Salerno doesn’t even have the name of the owner/manager right … who the hell is Jared Nillsen??? Get it straight, it was Terry Bex that you were talking with mister! So if you Google Jared Nillsen, you will get a junior high school student who is directly linked to the article, what a shame, a young boy of maybe 13 - 15 years of age. I wonder if the parents were informed of this article what would happen to Salerno. You call this good journalism? So, all that was requested by Attila was to report the facts correctly as Salerno wanted to make the focus on the nightclub when in actual fact, the assault took place at 7-11 on Douglas and Johnson as Josh Brighton (the victim) states in his report/comment. This reporter would not acknowledge that this assault took place elsewhere and kept bringing the blame back to the nightclub. ‘Paparazzi (formerly Prism) does not bill itself as a gay club, but rather as an “everyone’s welcome” establishment (read: gay club)’says Salerno. Did you really do your homework??? When Goggled, you get PAPARAZZI NIGHTCLUB - VICTORIA'S PREMIERE GAY NIGHTCLUB...oh yes, EVERYONE is WELCOMED!!!! Salerno, if you think that the people can’t see through this charade/alternative motive of your slanderous remarks, you really should think again. As for the bartender, he had the phone in hand to call the police for assistance however, the victim requested not to. As for the security at Paparazzi, we have more security than the other two Gay/LGBT clubs! Oh, one last thing, slander is a criminal offence!!! A word on SLANDER...it is the spoken or transitory
Alleged
Joe: I'm sure if you were charged with a crime you would like to have one of the great cornerstones of democracy in your corner - it's called the presumption of innocence. It is allowed all until they are proven guilty beyond a reasonable guilty in a court of law. A news outlet does not have the right and nor should it have the right to determine guilt. That is why the word 'alleged' is used. If a news outlet says someone was gaybashed then the inference is that the news outlet and the reporter know what is in the mind of the accused whoever that may be if and when they come to trial. And before anyone goes on a screed about criminals being coddled, let's be clear that people have been wrongly accused in this country and exhonnerated of crimes of which they have been accused. To convict someone before trial is just plain wrong. It is something I remain proud of in our legal system. I am not in favour of lining up the accused and shooting them and having trial later and then apologizing to innocent corpses.
My Two Cents
I must say that when I read the comment from "Mr.Bartender" a week or so ago on here I thought , geez there's one hell of a supportive guy. What exactly are you trying to say Mr. Bartender? That this wasn't such a big deal? Are you trying to in some way blame the victim and minimize what happened to him? Sure is reassuring that Paparazzi has on their staff supportive assholes like yourself. Another reason to steer clear of your bar.
Guns are good
An armed society is a polite society. Until we have the right to carry a concealed weapon, keep bear spray on your keychain.
Sympathy & Support
Bottom line: Victoria ain't safe for queer folks, whether attackers know you're queer or not. But why does everything have to be ''alleged'' in the story, including ''He says the two men then allegedly started hitting him''? When the police confirm that they are investigating an incident as a potential ''hate crime'', it seems the incident occurred; in this case the incident was rather nasty, as confirmed by none other than the reporter himself who was in the bar in question after the attack and who saw the blood and then the smashed Blackberry. Nobody should ever have to go through such a traumatizing event. The person who goes through such an ''incident'' should get our sympathy and support.

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