Fargo Police have person of interest in hate crime against an openly gay manFargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Fargo Police have a person of interest in an attack against an openly gay man dressed as a woman. The incident is being called a hate crime. It took place just outside Dempsey's Bar after closing time early Saturday morning.
By: Travis Skonseng, WDAY
A male ran up to the victim from behind, hit him in the back, then pulled off his 150 dollar wig and ran. In the process, the suspect yelled gay slurs. The victim has head and back pain.
“Being that there's a bias element to it, we want to make sure we provide due diligence and look at it from every angle.”
Friends of the suspect are said to be bragging about the attack on facebook. The victim was also threatened inside the bar. The victim of this hate crime is the metro's most popular drag queen. Jeff's alter ego is JustNTyme. He started the Fierce Drag Show several years ago.
Jeff, who goes by JustNTyme, doesn't want us using his last name after previous problems. Tonight he's in New Orleans trying to cope, but we spoke with him and his mother about the attack and rare hate crime in our area.
“I just wanted to cry. I just felt bad for him.”
Lavonne Muchow is usually all smiles when talking about her son, Jeff, one of nine children. But tonight, her thoughts turn to worry.
“I'm afraid somebody's going to beat him up or hurt him.”
Jeff told her of the attack Tuesday.
“I never thought anything like that would happen around here.”
The 80-year old never misses a JustNtyme show. He has organized the drag event for years.
“As JustNtyme, I'm very confident.”
That confidence wavered last weekend. JustNtyme tells us he's used to anti-gay remarks, but this time was different. He felt humiliated.
“He didn't steal my hair because he wanted a wig. He made an attack on me as a gay person because I'm different, because I was dressed as a female.”
JustNTyme says he's been threatened, but never attacked as an adult before, but this has taken him back to being tormented and taunted as a child.
“I have moments where I'm fine, then it comes up again and it replays in my mind. It brings up everything that happened when I was a kid and times I was beaten up.”
For his mother, she still brags about his talent. Lavonne says one bully won't stop this perfectionist from continuing to perform.
“He's a good son and he's thoughtful and a hard worker. I'm proud of him.”
The suspect faces simple assault and theft charges, both misdemeanors and punishable up to 30 days in jail and a one thousand dollar fine. North Dakota's hate crime law does not include sexual orientation or gender identity. However, federal law does, meaning this suspect could face more serious consequences.