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2 Gay Ga. Teens Attacked By Alleged Screwdriver-Wielding Mob

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Thursday April 23, 2015

Two gay teenagers from Georgia say they were attacked after school Monday by a screwdriver-wielding group of kids and young adults, Atlanta's NBC-affiliate news station WXIA reports.

Timothy Jefferson, 16, and his friend, Zy'Derryo Brown, 17, who both attend Carver School of Technology in Atlanta, Ga., said a fellow student attacked Jefferson's face with a screwdriver after classes ended Monday.

The student was allegedly with a group of kids and young adults who took part in the attack.

"My face is messed up some," Jefferson, a sophomore, told WXIA. "There was like 30 people out there that we was fighting. Because he's gay. And I'm gay."

In an interview with the Georgia Voice, it is reported the group initially attacked Brown until Jefferson tired to break up the fight but he was ultimately jumped by other students. The fight moved to the school's courtyard where the group allegedly grew larger. According to Jefferson, about 15 students were attacking him, while another 15 were beating his friend.

"I started fighting the person who hit me," he told the Voice. "They stabbed me in the eye with a screwdriver and hit me on the head -- I have a big sore on top of my head. They were stomping me on my back and chest and I looked over and saw them smashing Zyderryo's head on the sidewalk. We kept getting jumped. There were at least five or six rounds of us getting jumped."

He added that the attackers yelled gay slurs at him, saying they were going to "beat your faggot ass" and calling him a "gay ass nigger."

"We got into a fight because they don't like us because we are gay," he said. "During the whole fight I was saying, 'God, please don't let me die.' The screwdriver could have hit me anywhere."

After the fight, the two friends went to Hughes Spaulding Hospital, where Jefferson was treated for a bleeding gash to his face. He suffered a bloody mouth, loose front teeth and bruises on his body from being kicked while on the ground, according to a police report.

Ever since he and Brown came out two years ago classmates have bullied and abused him repeatedly, Jefferson told WXIA. The student's mother, Sabrina Giles, said Jefferson has been attacked at school 10 times this year.

"They don't like us because we're gay," Jefferson said.

Giles told the news station that she and her son notified Carver High School's principal when they're warned of a planned attack. Jefferson said he told the school's administration about the most recent beating, but officials didn't do anything.

"The police wasn't there. Nobody was there. No administrators came outside or nothing," the student said.

The teen added he even pointed out the student who attacked him with the screwdriver to school administration, but they did nothing to detain him.

Jefferson's mother told WXIA she doesn't "understand" how her son's situation is "not being handled." She also told the Voice that doesn't want Jefferson to return to school.

"I'm afraid for him. I'm afraid ... he could have been killed," she told the Voice. "It's possible he wouldn't have come home. I don't want to send him back and know that I may not see him again. They don't see him as a person because of who he is, because he is gay."

The Voice reports that a police report says that officers questioned witnesses to the fight and a female witness told the authorities she saw the crowd of students at the school and asked what was going on. She was told, "they beating them faggots."

The Atlanta Police Department released a statement Wednesday and said they've launched an investigation into the attack and found that the fight was not actually a mob scene but a fight involving only four students. Police will not investigate the incident as a hate crime.

"The subsequent investigation of a fight on the New Schools of Carver campus on April 20, 2015 has revealed that the incident involved four people," Atlanta Police Department spokeswomen Elizabeth Espy said in a statement. "These students were involved in a fight with each other with approximately 100 students watching the incident. This altercation will NOT be classified as a hate crime because it does not meet the requirements of such. Three of the 4 students are juveniles. The juveniles will be charged with the State charge of Affray. The 4th student Zy'Derryo Brown DOB 10/12/1997 will be given a copy of charges for disorderly conduct."

Watch a portion of the Voice's interview below:

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