Austin Hate Crime Victim Gets New Smile, Thanks to Local Dentist
An Austin man who was attacked during Gay Pride Weekend in October 2012 is smiling now, after a local dentist fixed his teeth.
Andrew Oppelman and his friend Nick Soret were attacked while getting a slice of pizza at a food truck in the Warehouse District when Lambert Borgardt accused Soret of hitting on him.
Cameras caught the moment when Borgardt allegedly punched Soret. When Oppelman stepped in to help his friend, the man knocked out nine of his teeth. Borgardt fled the scene, and was later indicted by a Travis County Grand Jury for third degree felony assault.
But when an Austin dentist heard about the attack, he reached out to Oppelman, and for the past year and a half, he has worked on full dental reconstruction and implants for the man, KVUE reports.
"It's jut been hard on the inside more for me than the outside, not because of how people see me, but how I feel about myself," said Oppelman.
The dentist, Dr. Gary Cash, DDS, said that he did the procedure free to pay back the good will that Austin had shown him, saying, "People have been so warm and welcoming to me here, I figured that's not the way someone should be treated from out of town."
The Dentistry Newswire is abuzz with news of Dr. Cash's generosity in providing the services, which would have run Oppelman six figures, but the DDS said that the Victim's Relief Fund helped pay for a large portion of the bill.
Borgardt remains free and is awaiting trial.