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Still no suspects in alleged Victoria gaybashing

Police can't find security video of attack from nearby businesses

Three weeks after an alleged gaybashing near a Victoria gay bar on Johnson St, police have yet to find any suspects in connection with the incident that took place in the early hours of Sept 2.

There are no known witnesses and police cannot find security video of the attack from nearby businesses.

Josh Brighton, 22, alleges two men called him a “faggot,” then punched and kicked him as he was trying to hail a cab to go home after leaving Paparazzi, which was a block away. 

Brighton says he attempted to run back to the club for safety, but the men gave chase. The men allegedly knocked him down, hit him repeatedly on the head and shouted hate slurs at him.

“[The police] asked me for a more detailed statement and I’m in the process of doing that, but I’m not expecting much more. They don’t have a lot of information,” Brighton says.

Brighton, who recently moved to Victoria from Ottawa to serve in the Navy, says his bosses have since asked him to participate in a safety campaign.

“I’ve had support from my chain of command at all ends,” he says.

“I’m a little more cautious about the things I do in public when I’m around other guys,” Brighton adds. “It makes me feel disappointed, but that’s the reality we live in, and sometimes we have to adapt to that.”

Brighton says he won’t be returning to Paparazzi anytime soon. He says he filed a complaint with the BC Liquor Control and Licensing Branch, alleging the bar failed to staff a security guard on the night he was assaulted.

A spokesperson from the licensing branch confirms a complaint from Brighton was received on Sept 9 but said he couldn’t discuss its content.

“Complaints of this nature are sent to the local liquor inspector for follow-up, the spokesperson adds.

“At this point, I don’t want to comment on it,” says Paparazzi’s operator/owner Terry, who refused to give his last name.

“We’ve talked to the liquor board too,  and the police, and [the incident] didn’t happen here actually,” he adds.

For his part, Brighton says it’s a “missed opportunity” for the bar to “step up and take some leadership with the gay community in Victoria.”