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Robbers target gay man, beat him with bat
Cleveland--In the second incident in the same month, a man was beaten by robbers who may have targeted him because he is gay.
During the early hours of August 30, as Edward “Eddie” Makar made his way home from the Hawk on Cleveland’s west side, he was beaten and robbed by three men yelling gay slurs throughout the assault.
Around 1:30 a.m., as he walked down West 117th Street, a car pulled up alongside him shortly before he got to the corner of Clifton Blvd. Three men, one with a baseball bat, got out of the car.
The men allegedly dragged the slight-framed Makar, 28, from the sidewalk into a nearby alley.
Police say one of the suspects told Makar, “You’re white and you have everything--gimme your shit, faggot!”
Makar says he tried to call for help repeatedly, but just kept getting hit in the mouth with the bat. One of his upper front teeth was knocked out.
He crumpled to the ground, and one of the men began jumping up and down on his legs, saying, “Faggot! Faggot! You deserve this, faggot!”
Makar says he lost consciousness for several minutes.
When he awoke, no one was around.
The men had taken his house keys and cell phone.
Bloody and confused, Makar stumbled around the corner to the gay bar Twist, on Clifton.
“I just collapsed on the first guy I saw,” Makar recalled.
Police say an off-duty officer assisted Makar at the bar and contacted EMS, who took the young man to Lakewood Hospital.
He was unable to give more than a vague description of the men as African American, and could not describe their car.
Makar suffered a concussion, a black eye, and swelling and bruising all over his body.
“Where they jumped up and down on my legs and stomach doesn’t feel so good,” Makar said.
His top two front teeth were so badly damaged in the assault they later had to be removed. He has lost 13 pounds on his already thin frame due to his inability to eat solid foods.
Anxiety attacks, nightmares, constant headaches and short-term memory loss have all plagued Makar since the attack.
A waiter and bartender, Makar was unable to work for nearly a week. His biggest concerns now are his lost wages and dental bills, as well as lasting fear.
The boldness and brutality of the attack, as well as the proximity to Twist and other gay businesses near that corner, mirrors the beating of Jon Brittain in the Ohio City neighborhood on August 2.
In June, police arrested two people for the stabbing death of Kelsey Stanton after he was enticed away from the Hawk.
Police have no suspects in Makar’s case, nor in Brittain’s.
A town hall meeting co-hosted by the Cleveland LGBT Center and the Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization will be held to discuss the safety of the LGBT community. The event will take place at the Gordon Square Arcade atrium at 6516 Detroit Avenue on Monday, September 29 at 6 p.m.
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