A still from CCTV footage of the alleged attackers
An assistant basketball coach at a Catholic high school in Philadelphia has been implicated in a gay bashing, along with a group of people thought to be graduates of the school.
Last week Thursday, two gay men were attacked without provocation on a Center City street by a group of 10 to 12 inebriated “well dressed” men and women who shouted anti-gay slurs at them.
The 27 and 28-year-old victims were hospitalised with numerous injuries, one requiring surgery to have his jaw wired shut.
The alleged assailants were quickly identified by social media users after police released CCTV footage of the suspects. A picture was found on Twitter of what appeared to be the group posing at an Italian restaurant before allegedly assaulting the couple.
On Thursday, the Archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles Joseph Chaput, released a statement confirming that a part-time coach at Archbishop Wood High School was allegedly involved in the attack.
Philly.com identified the coach as 25-year-old Fran McGlinn. After he was contacted by the school about the incident, he immediately resigned.
It is believed that in addition to McGlinn, the other members of the group are all former Archbishop Wood students.
“A key part of a Catholic education is forming students to respect the dignity of every human person whether we agree with them or not,” said the Archbishop.
“What students do with that formation when they enter the adult world determines their own maturity and dignity, or their lack of it. Violence against anyone, simply because of who they are, is inexcusable and alien to what it means to be a Christian,” he added.
There have still been no arrests, despite police having spoken to a number of the suspects.
While the attack has been described as a hate crime, the state of Philadelphia does not include sexual orientation in its legal definition of a hate crime.