WILMINGTON, N.C. — In the early morning hours of July 17, two gay men celebrating a birthday in downtown Wilmington were attacked as they walked down a street running alongside the Cape Fear River. In an interview with The Wilmington Star News, Chaz Housand, 22, and Chet Saunders, 22, say they remember little about the attack or the assailants. They can’t say for sure whether the attack was a direct result of their sexual orientation.
Three men have been arrested for the crime: Melvin Freanthony Spicer, 25; Daniel Minwoo Lee, 21; and Jong Tae Chung, 27. All three are from Wilmington. Police charged them with misdemeanor assault, but Detective A.C. Swenson said the charges will be raised to felonies due to the seriousness of the victims’ injuries.
Housand and Saunders were found unconscious on Front St. and others called police for assistance. The two spent a few hours in the hospital. Housand suffered from broken facial bones and Saunders says internal injuries are affecting his motor skills.
The Wilmington attack comes on the heels of an alleged anti-gay assault in Greensboro, N.C. (“Man attacked in downtown Greensboro,” July 25). In the early morning hours of July 4, a man attacked a straight man walking with two gay friends from a downtown nightlife establishment. The attacker in the case faces his first court appearance on July 30. He is charged with felony assault.