WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES BELOW
A gay couple in Georgia was hospitalized with severe burns after an alleged homophobe doused them with boiling water while they slept.
Marquez Tolbert and Anthony Gooden, both 21, were sleeping at Gooden’s mother’s apartment when her boyfriend, Martin Blackwell, allegedly poured scalding water on the couple before throwing them out of the home on Feb. 12, WSB-TV reported.
“You see, Marquez and his friend were attacked simply because of who they chose to love,” family friend Vickie Gray wrote on a GoFundMe page created to offset medical expenses.
Tolbert suffered burns to his face, neck, arms and back, Gray wrote. He spent 10 days at Grady Memorial Hospital and underwent skin graft surgery to repair the damage, she said.
Gooden was only released from the hospital last week after reportedly being put into a medically-induced coma.
The pair was reportedly completely taken by surprise by the attack.
Marquez Tolbert was severely burned in the alleged attack. (GoFundMe)
“(The attacker) didn’t forewarn them and there was no altercation before the incident,” Gray wrote. “They had no idea of the hatred he held in his heart. It was a ruthless attack that no one deserves.
“After they were burned, their attacker forced them out of the home, showing no remorse,” she continued. “They had to go door to door searching for help.”
Blackwell, 48, was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated battery, records show. He remains in jail.
According to a police report obtained by WSB-TV, Blackwell allegedly told police: “They’ll be alright. It was just a little hot water on them.”
An Atlanta Police Department LGBT liaison assisting in the case said federal hate crime charges might be brought up against Blackwell, the station reported.