Man alleges antigay Center City attack

A Center City man says he was attacked on the Fourth of July by a group of men who hurled antigay epithets.

Khalif Samad Parker, 22, said the incident took place outside the Gershman Y, 401 S. Broad St., shortly after midnight July 4. There were up to three attackers, he said.

Parker was at a friend’s apartment at 13th and Ellsworth streets and was heading to Woody’s before returning to his Center City home.

Parker was walking north by himself on Broad when he passed a group of up to three white males.

“I was walking up Broad Street and I soon realized there were people talking behind me, and usually when I have my headphones in I can’t hear anything, but these people were so close behind me that I could hear them over my music,” he said. “I took my headphones off and I could hear them calling me a faggot and saying all this other stuff and so I turned my music down and walked a little faster.”

Parker said he turned around at one point and one of the males lifted up his shirt to show a gun in the waist of his pants.

Parker said he continued walking but eventually turned around to confront the group.

“I am not easily shaken and I turned around and said, ‘What are you trying to do? I am not intimidated, so just leave me alone,’” he said.

Parker said the same male who flashed the gun punched him from behind on his right jaw, knocking him over. While on the ground, Parker, who said he did not get physically aggressive with the man, told the attacker about the legal consequences he could face, and the man again punched him in the face and walked off.

Parker called 911 and gave the responding officer a description but has not yet filed a report at a police precinct.

He went to the hospital right after the incident and was treated for a laceration on his eyebrow, caused by the attacker connecting with his glasses. His left eye was swollen shut.

The suspect is described as a white male between 18-25 with a thin build. He was wearing a black wife-beater tank top and silver basketball shorts. He had dark hair and a chinstrap beard.

Parker said he hopes his story helps promote safety and awareness.

“I am pretty good at bouncing back and looking on the optimistic side about it but, as a gay man, I shouldn’t fear my city that I live in and that I love,” he said. “People should be cautious and aware of their surroundings and let others know that this is still going on, unfortunately. Be aware of it and protect yourself; you are stronger than someone who is hateful for no reason.”

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