Men in house said occupied by gays attack Observer news team

Thursday, May 30, 2013

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A Jamaica Observer news team was yesterday attacked by alleged gay men who have taken up residence at a house in the upscale Barbican community of Millsborough Avenue in St Andrew.

The news team had gone to speak to residents after receiving a report that police had removed an unruly group of gay men who had taken up residence in the unoccupied home.

While the two reporters were sitting in the marked vehicle, the Observer photographer, who attempted to snap pictures of the house at 16 Millsborough Avenue, was attacked by two gay men who ran towards him with a bag loaded with bottles.

The men flung bottles, stones and other missiles at the photographer and a marked Observer vehicle as they hurled expletives. Even as the photographer made his way speedily towards the vehicle, the men continued their assault and bottles and stones sailed inches past his head and the vehicle.

The gays only retreated after the photographer managed to enter the vehicle which drove off. However, no one was hurt and the vehicle suffered no damage.

Residents of Millsborough have been complaining that the gay men have been behaving in an unbecoming manner and have been making their lives miserable.

They also complained that the men have attracted the owners of high-end vehicles as their clients and have been setting an unwanted example for the children in their neighbourhood.

"Whenever a gay man gets hurt or killed, even if it is at the hands of other gay men, you hear all kinds of fancy statements being released by J-FLAG (the Jamaica Forum for Lesbian, All-sexuals and Gays). Where are they now that some of their own are infringing on our rights? It is another example that J-FLAG has been trying to paint Jamaicans as homophobic but, if we were killing gays as they claim, would these men be able to come and destroy our decent community for months without being attacked?" one female resident.

The residents said have made numerous reports to the Matilda's Corner Police Station but officers, they claimed, said their hands were tied because the owner of the unoccupied house — a businessman — has not come forward to give a statement that the gay men have been trespassing on his property.

"One of them came and made a report that he was assaulted by one of his kind. He told us he got permission to stay there and allowed the rest to join him," a policeman at the Matilda's Corner police station said.

Head of the St Andrew Central Police Division Senior Superintendent Fitz Bailey told the Jamaica Observer that after the publication of an article in last Sunday's paper entitled 'Residents say gay men take over Barbican house', the police had forcibly removed the men from the premises.

"We went there on Sunday and ordered them out. We checked back on Monday and no one was there but, it seems that they have been creeping back in. We face a challenge in that the house is not secured, the locks have been sawn off so they have easy access," Bailey told the Jamaica Observer.

A policeman from the Matilda's Corner station said the unruly band of gays are among men who gather at the intersection of Knutsford Boulevard and Grenada Crescent in New Kingston at nights and indulge in male prostitution.

"They openly solicit customers and behave in a most disgusting manner at nights," the policeman said.


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