WATCH ABOVE: The father of an 18-year-old North Dakota man who was allegedly stripped of his clothes and whipped at a fraternity party for being gay is speaking out about the incident. Nicole Johnson reports.
A father from Grand Forks, North Dakota is speaking out about the abuse his son experienced at a fraternity party last week.
Dan Gisvold said his son, Haakon Gisvold, 18, was allegedly stripped and beaten for being gay.
“Four guys jump you, strip you of your clothes and your dignity and then whip you with a belt like an animal and kick you. If that’s not a hate crime then I don’t know what a hate crime is,” Gisvold said to KVLY News.
According to his son, the incident happened on Aug. 30 at a Lambda Chi Alpha frat at the University of North Dakota. Haakon Gisvold was there for about an hour with a friend when someone called him out and asked him to leave because of what he was wearing.
“I said ‘Look at these girls. They’re wearing short clothes, too. I don’t see what the big deal is,'” he said to The Associated Press.
Haakon Gisvold was wearing metallic red shorts and a tank top.
That’s when someone pushed him to the ground and the attack happened.
“It doesn’t matter if you are gay, straight, black, white, yellow. It’s wrong,” said Dan Gisvold to KVYL, “Treat people the way you wanna be treated. Treat them with respect.”
He also said his son has been made fun of his whole life for being gay.
“You’re gonna run across people who are homophobic everywhere you go, unfortunately.”
After a fight broke out between Haakon Gisvold and a handful of men, someone called police and the crowd scattered, including Haakon Gisvold who only had his underwear on by that time. He hid behind a bush until a Good Samaritan offered him some clothes.
When Dan Gisvold found out about what happened to his son, he called police.
The national fraternity’s director of chapter services said in a statement that they take the allegation seriously although there isn’t enough adequate information to support the claims. The director also said the frat is working with police and the university during the investigation.
The president of The University of North Dakota also sent out a letter, this time to students, saying the type of behaviour Haakon Gisvold received is not tolerated.
It’s not known if the men who attacked Haakon Gisvold are part of the fraternity.
“I just want those guys to learn from this,” Haakon Gisvold said to AP. “They could go to jail, sure, but they could go to jail and then come out with the same mindset that they don’t like homosexuals.”
The investigation is ongoing.
With files from The Associated Press
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