As the rest of America celebrates the SCOTUS ruling in favor of marriage equality, three California musicians are recovering from injuries after being attacked in what’s now been labeled a hate crime.
Alex Lyman and Wes Richmond, of Slaves, and Blake Abbey, of Musical Charis, were walking down the street in Sacramento last Sunday night when a man came at them with a knife, yelling homophobic slurs and referring to the men as “faggots” because they were wearing skinny jeans.
Abbey was stabbed in the arm, his injuries so severe that he needed surgery. Lyman received numerous cuts to his arm and throat as well as a 4-inch wound that barely missed his spleen. Richmond managed to avoid being stabbed, but he was left with a broken hand and minor cuts. Each of the men took to social media to share photos of their injuries along with messages of disbelief over the attack and gratitude that they had all survived.
On Instagram, Richmond stated “This man literally did all this cause we wear skinny jeans... What a jerk” while Lyman posted “There was no confrontation and nothing was done to provoke this…Wish the world could stop hating what they don't understand.” Abbey updated his Facebook followers, stating “We did nothing to provoke them. We were in the wrong place at the wrong time.”https://instagram.com/p/4Ov5W7Kr9_/ https://instagram.com/p/4PMnHgsmkT/ https://www.facebook.com/blake.abbey/posts/10206167827248467
One of the attackers, Timothy Brownell, was arrested on Sunday night on charges of assault with a deadly weapon. During the arrest, a gun was found in Brownell’s apartment, leading to a charge of illegal possession of a firearm. He was released on bond the next day. After reviewing the information, Sacramento Police reclassified the attack as a hate crime and issued a new warrant for Brownell who turned himself in on Tuesday night. Lori Brownell, mother of the accused attacker, extended her sympathies to the victims and their families after a court hearing on Thursday, adding that she believes her son has suffered from PTSD since returning from Afghanistan.
A benefit concert for Abbey, Lyman and Richmond is scheduled to take place on Saturday night in Sacramento. Event organizers are using the title "I WEAR SKINNY JEANS" for the fundraiser and have asked attendees to wear skinny jeans as a symbol of support.