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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

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  • Bill Andrews

    This is serious? But the 90 year old falling into a toilet for 3 days is ‘funny’? This Country is gone.

  • steve

    Sounds like a pair of snobby college types learned a lesson on what can happen when you trash talk the locals….”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,”……geuss they aren’t that smart afterall….

  • SV

    Why should it matter WHY someone beat someone up? A crime is a crime, no matter the motive.

  • L

    JW, even with only the facts at hand– the teens approached the couple while they were “being affectionate.” normally people stay away from anyone who is alone with their couple at night UNLESS they wish to provoke some sort of fight/argument.

  • JW

    Can we please stick to the facts at hand. There is NO evidence of a “hate crime”. In fact the victims own statement reutes this – their “affectionate behaviour” was not the trigger for the attack. The PC police need to stay out of this and let the real cops handle the situation. In fact, would we be talking about this if the supposed “hate crime” angle were not present?

  • r

    …that it’s a hate crime… that’s a pretty big problem.

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