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'I'll Silence You' Threatens Machete-wielding Teen to Gay Man in Possible Hate Crime

Tuesday June 15, 2021

As the DCPride celebration was taking place last Saturday, a juvenile waving a machete hurled homophobic slurs and threatened to stab a man dining outside at a restaurant, authorities said, reported the Washington Post.

"A 13-year-old boy was arrested Sunday and charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, D.C. police said," the Post article detailed. Police are investigating it as a hate crime.

The incident began, according to a report from Fox DC 5, when the teen followed the victim, Troy Howley, and his friends into Shaw's Tavern. "An individual was holding essentially, like, a machete, that was probably like, you know, a couple of feet long," Howley told the news outlet.

The teen began to shout anti-gay slurs at the group and threatened Howley with the long knife. The unidentified teen began to stab cicadas with a machete and throw them at Holly while he was eating. At one point the teen waved the machete and said, "I'll silence you."

WUSA reported that "business owners and neighbors suspect the same juvenile was involved in other cases of unprovoked attacks" in recent months. Ashley Smith, the president of the board of the Capitol Pride Alliance told Fox DC 5 that these crimes are a reminder that LGBTQ people still have a lot to fight for.

"The whole purpose of all of the celebration that we had this past weekend is for everybody to come out and be free and celebrate who they are and not have to worry about these types of things. But unfortunately, the hatred does exist, and we have to focus on the fact that there are spaces where people do not appreciate us and welcome us. And so, therefore, we have to do everything to counterattack them. And the more that we come together, the more that we stand together, the more that we fight together, we will be able to overcome those things, but it's going to take all of us as a community to make that happen."

A shaken Howley said, "It was awful," but added, "I'm very happy that, you know, I'm alive to tell the story. But, you know... things could have ended very terribly, and I am just happy that they didn't."

"It's at least the second suspected anti LGBTQ hate crime in DC during pride month," reported Fox DC 5, recalling that last week "three people beat and stabbed a transgender woman at a northeast DC laundromat. They turned themselves in."