Victim wants beating classified as hate crime

Victim wants beating classified as hate crime
Published: Mar. 22, 2015 at 9:09 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 23, 2015 at 12:34 PM CDT
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CORINTH, MS (WMC) - Twenty-six-year-old Devin Norman has fractures in the bones of his face and bruises to his eyes.

Corinth police say 22-year-old James Scott attacked Norman at the Walmart in Corinth on Friday.

"I never thought of him as the kind of violent type," said Norman.

Norman says Scott should be facing hate crime charges, since he used gay slurs and attacked him because of his sexual orientation. Norman says Scott grabbed him by the back of his neck and punched him after he tried walk away.

"I think that it's a travesty that there's an entire segment of abuse that's just swept under the rug," said Norman. "Yes, his assault was aggravated but it's entirely something else. Entirely. It was simply because of who I love."

Those close with Scott say Norman was trying to "out" him by posting private pictures and text messages the two men shared. Norman says he threatened to post the photos as a defense mechanism .

"I don't have them any more. I was bluffing, hoping that he would back away from me because his body language was so threatening, and violence scares me."

At this time, police do not believe it is not a hate crime. Officials say they will continue to investigate to determine if it does in fact qualify. Police plan on increasing the charges from simple assault to aggravated assault on Monday.

Scott is now out of jail on bond.

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