A couple in Atlanta is recovering from a shocking attack in which police say a man threw boiling on them, simply because they are gay.
Marquez Tolbert, one of the victims of the hateful crime, told WSB-TV 2 that he and his boyfriend, Anthony Gooden, were sound asleep when the man, identified as Gooden's mother's boyfriend, launched the attack. "The pain doesn't let you sleep. It's just, like, it's excruciating, 24 hours a day, and it doesn't go anywhere," Tolbert says.
Tolbert is convinced that the attack was a product of hate. "Why else would you pour boiling hot water on somebody?" he asks.
Tolbert spent 10 days in hospital care, undergoing skin graft surgery after the attack last month. Martin Blackwell, Gooden's mother's boyfriend and the alleged perpetrator of the attack, remains in Fulton County Jail, charged with two counts of aggravated battery.
"Martin pulled me up and said, 'Get out of my house with all that gay,' " Tolbert said. "I couldn't stop screaming."
One of the most confounding aspects of this case is that Blackwell didn't even live with Gooden and his mother. He visits frequently but it was not his house. Following his arrest, he reportedly told police, "They'll be all right. It was just a little hot water on them."
"Like, where was your head at? Why would you do this?" Tolbert asked.
An Atlanta PD LGBT liaison is assisting in the case to make sure Blackwell does not make bond, and looking into the possibility of categorizing the attack as a federal hate crime. An upcoming hearing will address that potential for the prosecution.