Phoenix DJ Austin Head Injured in Hate Crime Assault

Categories: News

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Austin Head
Update: Phoenix Police have officially designated the attack on Austin Head an anti-gay hate crime. Read more at New Times' news blog, Valley Fever.

Local DJ, activist, and former New Times Clubs Editor Austin Head was assaulted early on Friday, November 9, while walking down Central Avenue. Two men harassed and physically attacked Head and an unspecified friend, shouting homophobic slurs, attacking Head, and rendering him unconscious. He was transported to St. Joseph's hospital.

Head was released from the hospital around 6:30 a.m. Friday morning. "I'm recovering and improving slowly. I have some facial fractures and some swelling that's going down. I have lots of meds to help me along. I still remain strong," said Head via a Facebook conversation. His doctors have yet to determine the extent of his facial injuries and if he will require reconstructive surgery.

"This was a random attack on Central & Osborne," Head says. "I'm not positive on the time. Two men targeted us for appearing 'gay' and [yelled] homophobic slurs. I was on my bike and my friend was on foot. He was a bit behind, so I stopped and waited on the corner for him to catch up when they crossed the street yelling slurs. They then attacked us both as we tried to flee with my friend attempting to get on the handle bars. They pushed us off the bike then proceeded with punching. I was knocked unconscious and eventually taken to the hospital by ambulance."

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MCSO
Ernie and Jermon Barnes (24 and 22 years old, respectively)
The alleged assailants, Ernie and Jermon Barnes, were arrested Friday morning at 2:30 a.m. after being identified by a witness. Both were jailed for assault.

"This is a time for us to make our voices heard against such ignorance and violence," says Head, now able to see out of both eyes as swelling has decreased. "It's a time for us to come together and let it be known that Phoenix will not tolerate nor condone these actions. Thanks to the quick response of the Phoenix Police Department, we can bring these people to justice."


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14 comments
seaninnova
seaninnova

Austin, hope you get better soon. To the thug-slime who did this, clearly its not your first time behind bars... which means clearly you're gonna experience some "jail sex" again... which means really this was DL-gay beating out-gay... which really means this was just, what, a race crime? Which is soooo passe. Obama's in the "White" House. What more do you want? No, Obama isn't going to DO anything for you... you still have to do it for yourself. And this isn't the way to go about it. Dumbasses. Hopefully they have condoms in jail, otherwise your problems just got way, way, way bigger.

peacefulguy
peacefulguy

SOME CORRECTIONS ON MY POST..APOLOGIES..

this was not only  because they were GAY but because they were white ..i read that this was the statement when this INCIDENToccurred

Head was on his bicycle and paused to wait for his friend to catch up when the unprovoked attack started. Head was left with an eyebrow laceration and two fractures under his eye, he said.

Head said that as the attack ended and the Barnes’ allegedly ran away, one of them yelled “That’s for Obama (expletive).” so where are all the reports on this....had this been the opposite we Would hear more ..the hipocracy is as sad as this story ..come on New Times give the whole story and lets see this go viral...DOUBTFUL...

faderjane
faderjane

this is so flipping paionfull to hear!

radishka
radishka

Jason Green and Paul Sanchez and others we must protest this criminal hate.

 

radishka
radishka

This news breaks my heart. The victims did NOTHING to anyone they are innocent of any crime. The ignorant hateful bigots however have no such claim. Hope the survivors will soon be ok.

radishka
radishka

I am very sad and upset to hear of this.

 

robert_graham
robert_graham topcommenter

I call for riots in the street because of this. Had the victims beaten these two thugs and called them the "N" word, Al Sharpton would be calling for civil unrest without a doubt. Well it's time to turn the tables.

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

Best wishes to you Austin. I hope you recover quickly and fully.

number6
number6

At least Jermon has enough sense to look scared. I agree this has hate crime written all over it.  

therazorsedge5551
therazorsedge5551

Perfect example of Hate crime. Assault isn't good enough. You folks should be starting a petition to the prosecutor's office..

Dan Frost
Dan Frost

C'mon Phoenix, we are better than this.

Broski_Love
Broski_Love

these bozos look real cool with their played out corn-rows lookin all frayed and 3 months old. Yellow eyes much? Probably have "outie" belly buttons too. Ole broke down wanna be gangsters with Dickies pants and Coasters house slippers from Payless.

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