VANCOUVER — Surrey resident Kerry Tyler Street had dental Friday to repair his broken and missing teeth following what he says was a homophobic attack.
He says he was attacked Wednesday afternoon by a man who evidently thought Street is gay. He ended up lying in a pool of his blood on the sidewalk.
But, surprisingly, this is not the first time.
“For the second time in my life I’ve been gay-bashed. And the catch is, well, I’m not gay,” says Street. About three years ago, he was reportedly attacked for the same reason by three men who left him with a broken nose and broken ribs. Those three men were never caught.
This time Street says he was skateboarding in Guildford when a man jumped in front of him, punched him and — when he fell — the man hit him again. “Right in the kisser,” says Street.
He says his jaw and nose were broken, and one of his teeth was knocked out. The man then hurled homophobic slurs at him and left.
“It makes me quite literally sick to my stomach thinking about it actually,” he adds.
Four people came to help him out, but Street says the man who did this just walked away from him.
“Because he thought that I might potentially like guys, he thought that was a good enough reason to leave me bleeding in the middle of the sidewalk.”
Street says the man didn’t try to take anything from him. “He didn’t like my face,” he said, “so he decided to rearrange it.
“In these situations there’s no point asking why because there really is no why.”
He says he is not angry at the man for what happened.
“I feel sorry for that man, I really do, because if that’s the way he treats people and that’s what he derives pleasure from, he’ll never know true love, he’ll never know true happiness,” says Street. “He’ll never get to experience the things I take for granted. So I pity that man, and I don’t hate him for it. It’s not his fault if he doesn’t know any better, but it doesn’t excuse what he did.”
He posted a YouTube video about his experience (Warning: Contains strong language):
Now Street’s brother has set up an indiegogo campaign to help fund Street’s surgery.
“I started this campaign to help raise funds to pay for my brother’s dental work. The attack has left him beaten, bruised, bewildered and now it threatens to leave him broke to boot,” his brother writes.
Surrey RCMP are looking for the suspect. He is described as in his late 20s or early 30s, about 6 feet tall, with a slim to medium build and blond spiky hair. He was wearing dark jeans and a Crooks and Castles jacket.
Police have also spoken to the four witnesses of the incident.
“Certainly not a hidden spot where you expect these kinds of attacks to take place,” says Surrey RCMP Cpl. Bert Paquet. “What our officers learned speaking to the victim was that this was a non-provoked assault. There were no words exchanged or very few.”
Paquet says Street received fairly significant facial injuries.
“We don’t receive these kinds of assaults very often here, thankfully,” he adds.
Anyone with information is asked to call Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.