A gay student at the University of North Carolina was severely burned last week in a hate-motivated attack, according to campus officials.
WRAL.com reported that Quinn Matney was approached last week on the Chapel Hill campus by a man who called him a derogatory name and held a heated object to his wrist for several seconds, leaving third and fourth-degree burns.
“Here is a taste of hell,” Matney said his attacker told him.
Matney told reporters that the branding object burned through his muscle and tendon, leaving him with limited movement in his hand and nerve damage that might require surgery. He described the assault as “relentless burning, searing pain.”
UNC officials are calling the assault a hate crime. Chancellor Holden Thorpe released a statement April 11 pledging to “bring the strongest possible charges against the attacker.”
But Jeff Deluca, co-president of UNC’s Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender and Straight Alliance, complained that the university waited two days before alerting the students and the community.
“It is shock and sadness that something like this could happen on campus and go pretty much unnoticed,” Deluca said.
Thorpe responded that the assault prompted university officials to review the way they notify the campus community about crimes. He said federal authorities would be called to assist in the investigation.