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Gay Couple Attacked With Boiling Water

Marquez Tolbert and his boyfriend, Anthony Gooden Jr., are a gay couple from Atlanta who were sleeping soundly on Feb. 12 when they were shocked into waking by feeling boiling hot water splashed across their bodies.

Tolbert told Project Q Atlanta, “We were just burning. My body was just stinging. It was like a really, really severe kind of stinging. I could hardly think straight.” The assailant, they said, was 48-year-old Martin Blackwell, who is the boyfriend of Gooden’s mother. According to police records, Blackwell was arrested Feb. 13 on two counts of aggravated battery and is being held without bail.

Tolbert, 21, believes he and Gooden, 23, were attacked because they are gay. Tolbert explained to WSB-TV that Blackwell “pulled me up and said, ‘Get out of my house with all that gay.’ I couldn’t stop screaming.” The couple had been dating for around six weeks at the time of the alleged attack. Blackwell told police, “They was stuck together like two hot dogs."

Blackwell claims the couple was having sex when he walked in. “I poured a little hot water on them and helped them out. They’ll be alright, it was just a little hot water.”

Yet, the couple suffered second and third-degree burns. Tolbert was in the hospital for 10 days. Gooden stayed in the hospital for 11 weeks. An Atlanta police department LGBT liaison told WSB-TV that federal hate crime charges are a possibility.

GoFundMe campaigns have been launched by Vickie Gray, a friend of Tolbert’s family, and by Gooden’s cousin, Diyawn, to help pay for their medical expenses. Gray said that Tolbert was "healing nicely," but, "emotionally, he has a ways to go. He has moments that resemble [post-traumatic] stress disorder."

Gray added, “I don’t think he knew how the LGBT community is unified because he only came out a year ago, and before that, he lived a sheltered life with a close-knit family. It’s still difficult for him to talk about it without breaking down.”

Photo: Raw Story

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