Charles Clements and Vincent Shaver can’t go home. They can’t make rent, and even if they could, they don’t want to stay.
“Every time we opened the door and heard steps, I would get scared,” Clements told INTO. “So we had to leave immediately.”
Last Thursday, Clements and Shaver said they were victims of a brutal anti-gay hate crime at their Las Vegas apartment. The incident has left them staying with Shaver’s uncle, trying to raise enough money to move.
Shaver said the trouble started at his job at Walmart when a coworker and his friend started targeting him for being gay.
“They told me I was an abomination and a faggot,” said Shaver.
Shaver said he reported the harassment to supervisors and thought that would be the end of the problem.
But on Thursday when Clements picked him up from work, the two followed them home.
“I guess he waited in the parking lot for three hours,” Shaver said. “I didn’t think he was going to take it to the extreme and follow us home and try to hurt us.”
Clements said he didn’t even realize they had been followed until they were home and he heard Shaver call out his name from the front of the house. Two guys were hitting Shaver. When Clements moved to intervene, the two started to attack him, he said.
They knocked over a table, shattering glass, which the attackers then used as a knife.
“I was leaking blood and that’s when they went over to my boyfriend and started kicking him and stabbing him,” said Clements.
When the attackers saw the blood they fled, said Clements. The attack lasted about 10 minutes, he said.
The couple said neighbors watched the attack but didn’t intervene or call police. One neighbor shut the door in the middle of the beating. Shaver had to call 911 himself.
Both were hospitalized Thursday night. Shaver suffered a punctured lung, seven stab wounds in the back and two broken ribs. Clements had to have stitches for a cut to his head. The two are home and recovering. Shaver has taken a temporary leave from Walmart, but Clements said he will return to his job at a local nursing home.
The couple said they don’t have health insurance, and costly medical bills have forced them to vacate their apartment. They have launched a GoFundMe, asking for help with moving to “a different area where they have security 24/7 and a gated area.”
“When I met Vincent is when I wanted to be out and proud of myself,” said Clements, who notes they have been together a year-and-a-half.
“We were living comfortably, and now this tragedy has cost us our place,” added Shaver.
Walmart is working with Las Vegas law enforcement to investigate the incident, which they categorized as workplace violence, the company confirmed. A spokesperson would not provide details on the ongoing investigation.
Las Vegas Police Department did not respond to requests to comment by press time.
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