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Gay UNC student assaulted; officials call it a hate crime

Posted April 11, 2011
Updated April 12, 2011

— University of North Carolina student Quinn Matney is gay. For that, he says, someone scarred him for life.

Matney said a man walked up to him last week near a foot bridge on the Chapel Hill campus, called him a derogatory name, told him, "here is a taste of hell," and held a heated object to his skin for several seconds, leaving third and fourth-degree burns.

He described the assault, which university officials are calling a hate crime, as "relentless burning, searing pain."

"It has burned all the way through the flesh and is burning through muscle and tendon," Matney said. He said he has an infection and limited movement in some fingers, and the nerve damage may require surgery.

UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp released a statement Monday, pledging that the university's public safety department "will bring the strongest possible charges against the attacker."

But Jeff Deluca, co-president of UNC's Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender and Straight Alliance, raised concerns that the university waited two days before alerting the students and the community.

"It is shock and sadness that something like this could happen on campus and go pretty much unnoticed," Deluca said.

Gay UNC student assaulted; officials call it a hate crime Gay UNC student claims he was assaulted

Thorp said the assault has prompted university officials to review the way they notify the campus community about crimes. He added that he plans to call in federal authorities to assist in the hate crime investigation.

Matney is left questioning why someone would hurt him for simply being who he is.

"It just doesn't make sense to me," he said.

Deluca said he hopes the assault will bring the UNC community together, "making this campus a better, safer community."

Police are still investigating. No charges have been filed.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • smack Apr 21, 2011

    HAHA I bet everyone who was defending him on here feels rather stupid now.

  • hollylama Apr 13, 2011

    "See previous comments"...somewhat laughing at those that are so quick to jump on the victim bandwagon. People do things and as soon as it becomes national news they recant.

  • davework Apr 13, 2011

    Come on out all you "defenders" of "hate crime" legislation and take a bow. This is the kind of nonsense that "thought" crimes have brought to this country...

  • riverbirch Apr 12, 2011

    he should be expelled.

  • sbdance Apr 12, 2011

    I knew it.

  • briansasser99 Apr 12, 2011

    Told Ya!!!!!

  • unc_student Apr 12, 2011

    Chancellor Thorp just sent students an email saying the report was false.

  • somey Apr 12, 2011

    Thank God for the hate crime bill. Prior to this you were allowed to walk up to people and burn their hands and have not repercussions. Thank you so much NC law makers!!!

  • confederateyankee Apr 12, 2011

    The Daily Tarheel editors are have quite a field day with their censorship. They deleted at least a half-dozen comments questioning Quinn Matney's story and providing more logical explanations, and when called for censoring comments that did not violate posting guidelines, closed down the comment thread.

    I don't know who the journalism faculty advisor to the DTH is, but they are failing to teach ethics.

  • Jeremiah Apr 12, 2011

    "No such thing as a hate crime."

    sure there is.

    some crimes are committed for greed, love, revenge, anger....

    and some are committed solely becuase of hate. this guy sounded like he hated gays. he wasn't burning him to take his wallet. he wasn't burning him becuase he took his lover. he burned him for the sole reason of hating him.

    (or at least that's what it sonds like)