Nfld. & Labrador

Questions continue to swirl over alleged gay-bashing

A local fundraiser for a man who claims he was attacked in a gay-bashing incident in downtown St. John's about two weeks ago has been called off due to controversy surrounding his story.

Fundraiser called off as rumours circulate over story's validity

Pattrick Blackburn posted this photo to his Facebook account the day after the alleged attack. (Courtesy Pattrick Blackburn)

A local fundraiser for a man who claims he was attacked in a gay-bashing incident has been called off due to the controversy surrounding the story.

Pattrick Blackburn told his story through a video on YouTube, in which he described being taunted with homophobic slurs before being jumped in downtown St. John's about two weeks ago.

According to Blackburn, a friend found him covered in blood after the alleged attack, and sought help from Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officers near Mile One Centre.

The RNC confirmed an ambulance was called for Blackburn, but said they've yet to receive a formal statement or complaint about the incident.

Blackburn's story received a lot of attention, both locally as well as nation-wide. But comments also began circulating on social media that questioned the validity of his story.

Fundraisers have already been held in Halifax and Ottawa to support Blackburn, and organizers of those events said they still support him and believe his story.

Last Sunday's event in Halifax collected $350. The organizer told CBC the money will be given to Blackburn in the near future.

In Ottawa, money was collected at several events as part of that city's gay pride festival. An organizer asked people marching in the pride parade to bring baskets so money could be collected for Blackburn along the route.

For several days after he said he was attacked, Blackburn was circulating a link to send money directly to his email account. The link, along with Blackburn's blog and Facebook account, has since been deleted.