Swarthmore Police: Homophobia Motive Unclear In Weekend Attack
SWARTHMORE, Pa. (CBS) – Was it homophobia or something else that prompted a group of teens to attack two people on Swarthmore College’s campus over the weekend?
The group of six or seven teens knocked the two victims to the ground and repeatedly kicked them.
In a letter to the college community, the dean of students says the two male victims — a Swarthmore student and a Penn student -– were holding hands when they were attacked, which she feels raises the question of homophobia.
But Swarthmore Borough police chief Brian Craig said that when police interviewed the victims, they said the teens approached them and asked them to buy alcohol for them.
Jim Osman reports..
When one of the victims asked if the teens were “Ville Rats” -– a wisecrack for people who live around campus — that’s when the attack happened, Craig says: “The initial report did not indicate that it was anything other than what was reported to us, a reaction to that particular comment.”
Chief Craig says they have not ruled out a homophobia motive and will try to re-interview the victims. He also says a group of teens with a similar description was kicked out of a fraternity party about a half hour early, though he can’t say for certain it’s the same group.
Reported by Jim Melwert, Robin Culverwell, KYW Newsradio; Natasha Brown, CBS 3