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.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.

7 replies on “Two gay men beaten in Wilmington”

  1. We need Hate Crimes Legislation! This makes me mad! Due to the seriousness of their injuries I’m sure it was hate motivated!

  2. The city is getting more violent by the minute. Someone needs to address the blatant gang activity that goes on downtown on weekend nights. And, it’s true, we really need hate crime legislation, but unfortunately, it’s North Carolina!

  3. Chaz is a wonderful caring loving young man who I admire very much. I have known him since he was 15. What a horrible tragedy. I hope the 3 bastards that did this get the max.

  4. I hope they punish the person who did this heinous crime. I am a straight female but I had a brother who was gay and he was killed earlier this year because of a ignorant homophobic moron. Why is it that other non serious crimes get more attention and punishments than when a gay peson is beaten or killed? Law enforcment need to step up their game!!!

  5. Maybe you should look at the other side of the story. do u ever think that the gays went all homo-strong and tried to take advantage of the straight guys.

  6. im not looking at the other side of anything i know there are some gay people who do that but at the same time do u think the straight guys got all super straight and tried to beat them up for nothing????????????

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