News

NM Teen Allegedly Beaten for Being Gay, Banned From Mall

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Monday Dec 2, 2013
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"Issaic"
"Issaic"  (Source:KOB 4)

A teenager from Albuquerque, N.M., says he was banned from a mall after he was allegedly attacked on Saturday because he is gay, Albuquerque’s NBC-affiliate station KOB 4 reports.

Officials of the Coronado Mall, however, decided to ban the 14-year-old, who identifies only as "Issaic."

Issaic says he was beaten because he is gay and was banned for fighting.

"My friends just told me, you know, walk," Issaic told KOB 4. "Next thing I know, I’m laying out on the floor." Issaic’s comments were made as he was watching the attack, which was recorded on a cell phone in a 20-second clip.

The video shows Issaic being punched in the back of the head in the middle of the shopping mall by "a 16-year-old acquaintance," KOB 4 writes. According to Issaic, he had an online argument with a female friend -- that’s when the other teen started to make threats.

"Whenever he wanted to fight me he was calling me a [gay slur] and a queer and everything," Issaic said.

When the teens ran into each other at the mall last weekend, things escalated and that’s when the 16-year-old boy attacked Issaic.

According to the Albuquerque Police Department, the boys were asked to leave the mall, but Issaic says as he was leaving the 16-year-old boy in the video punched him.

"He just didn’t like me being gay," Issaic told KOB 4. "I’m used to it, but I’m just like, ’Why would you want to fight someone over that.’"

A police officer in the mall talked to the teens and both were ordered by Coronado’s officials to not return to the mall for a year.

"They said I got banned for fighting, but I didn’t even fight. I just got hit," Issaic said.

He added he did not press charges. The friends of the teen who attacked him posted the clip online, however.

"He hit me, he posted it, he thought it was funny, and whenever it actually goes viral, then he wants to try to be my friend again," Issaic said.

Issaic wants to speak out against the incident and said he wants to be able to return to the mall and hopes management will reconsider unbanning him.

"It shouldn’t happen, but it did," he said. "I can’t change it, I mean, it’s life."

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