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Alleged gay bashing in Schaerbeek involves couple’s own neighbours
Police are investigating a possible gay bashing in Schaerbeek that involves a couple and the family living in the apartment below them. Contrary to most attacks on gay men, the incident involved someone the alleged victims knew and in front of their own home.
Jeroen DC filed a complaint with the police following a long Facebook message that he posted yesterday detailing the attack. “It’s not like I’ve never had to put up with aggressiveness against ‘PDs’, ‘homos’, ‘fags’, but this was another thing entirely,” he wrote. “This was physical, it was public for the whole street and it was embarrassing, painful, frustrating. And it was mostly my Turkish downstairs neighbours. The older brother, younger brother, father and, yes, even the mother, who encouraged her sons to hit me harder.”
According to Jeroen, the problems with the neighbours escalated when his partner moved in with him last month. When his partner tried to intervene in the attack, he, too, was punched.
Jeroen said further that several people in the street watched before finally intervening. One passer-by, however, told Jeroen that he should never have come to live in the neighbourhood and should move. “Then that’s what I’d better do,” wrote Jeroen.
‘Unsafe in own home’
He told VRT that he posted the incident to Facebook in order to encourage a discussion about tolerance. “I no longer feel safe in my own home,” he said.
The police told VRT that they are investigating the case as an assault but that there were apparently previous disputes between the two neighbours not related to homophobia. “The circumstances around the assault are not entirely clear,” a spokesperson said. “We are not sure if this is a homophobic attack or a quarrel between neighbours that got out of control.”
Brussels secretary of equal opportunities, Bianca Debaets (CD&V), meanwhile, tweeted: “This makes my blood boil. We must bring an end to this sort of thing. Everyone can love whoever he or she wants. I hope that this is followed up in court.”
Jeroen’s boyfriend, Nicolas Juan Nalinne, also posted about the event to his own Facebook page in English. He has also filed a complaint with the police.
Photo: Jeroen DC (left) and Nicolas Juan Nalinne
©Courtesy Nicolas Juan Nalinne/Facebook