A reportedly drunken man assaulted an Ogden gay man and a lesbian outside an apartment complex in two separate attacks on June 2, according to the Ogden Standard Examiner, which broke the story on June 5.
Wil Phillips, a gay man, and Whitney Goich, a lesbian, were both attacked at the Mirador apartment complex by a man who shouted anti-gay slurs at them. Police later arrested Christopher Vonnegut Allen for the attacks. Phillips and Goich did not know each other at the time.
Phillips was attacked first. He told the paper he was visiting a friend when Allen stopped by. The friend, who asked not to be identified, knew Allen and allowed him to enter the apartment. And when the friend left the room to go to the bathroom, Phillips said Allen sat on him, slapped him and stomped on him while shouting “I’m not [expletive] gay!” Philips said his friend then overpowered Allen and forced him to leave.
The second attack occurred outside the apartment complex at approximately 2:30 a.m. As Goich was entering the building to visit a friend, she said that Allen grabbed her, punched her in the face and then slammed his knee into her nose while shouting anti-gay slurs. Goich underwent surgery that night to repair her nose and a sunken tear duct in her left eye. Phillips received some bruises, but did not require medical attention.
“I just asked him, ‘Why are you hitting me? Why are you hitting me?’ and he just — just started using explicit words that he hated faggots, and that I was a bad person for being gay pretty much,” Goich later told ABC 4 News.
Ogden Police Lt. Tony Fox said that Allen was intoxicated during the attacks, and that police are conducting interviews to see if the assaults qualify for hate crimes enhancements. While under Utah law prosecutors can seek these enhancements in felony cases where the motive appears to be to intimidate or incite violence against a specific group, the decision whether or not to apply a hate crime enhancement lies with a judge.
Phillips’ mother said that she will go to court if a hate crimes enhancement is not applied.
“My son didn’t deserve to be treated like this because of his sexuality,” she said.
Allen faces two class B misdemeanor counts of assault and one count of criminal trespassing. He was later released on bail.