Corey Stedman, the young man assaulted Thursday morning on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, contacted WEHOville this evening to describe his assailants as “gang bangers” armed with a knife and a gun and objected to his being characterized as gay.
Stedman, 25, had not responded to numerous texts and telephone calls made by WEHOville before publication of the story on Friday in which someone who found him after the attack characterized him as gay. In a text exchange this evening Stedman said he was not gay and thus not the victim of a hate crime. And he said that he had not been drinking at Micky’s before the incident, as was rumored, but was at The Abbey with a female friend and her gay friend. Stedman said he is “LGBT friendly” and that he “loves and respects everyone.”
Stedman, who was on his way to visit a friend in the early hours of Thursday morning, was unable to identify exactly where the attack occurred. He said a man stepped out of the shadows and assaulted him, kicking him in the head. Stedman, who said he used to box, fought back. But then three other men emerged from the shadows, one carrying a gun and another a knife. Stedman said the attack left him with a broken nose and broken jaw. Stedman said the men were Hispanic.
“When they saw that he couldn’t handle fighting me they all came out from different directions,” Stedman said. “So they got angry that they weren’t able to knock me out and pulled out weapons, so I just stopped fighting back.”
Stedman said the men didn’t utter any homophobic slurs, an accusation Sheriff’s deputies were investigating. “They thought I had money because I’m white and I was dressed nice,” he said. Stedman said the men stole his Armani blazer, which contained money and an ID.
Stedman said he works as a music extra and is building a modeling career. But now, he said, “I have a broken nose and I can’t do model shoots until my face is unf-cked, so I’m not happy.”
West Hollywood has experienced a number of assaults of gay men in and near the city’s Boystown nightlife district. One of the most notorious was the assault of Kirk Doffing, who was beaten behind the Rage bar on Santa Monica Boulevard almost a year ago. Doffing still remains in treatment for a serious brain injury. Earlier this month another young gay man, Christopher Burton, who also identifies himself as Christopher de la Cruz, said he was assaulted at night in a hate crime near the Pavilions grocery store. And in January Anthony Villegas, a 23-year-old gay man, was found unconscious near the Gelson’s grocery store after an apparent assault.