The FBI is looking into a heinous attack on an Atlanta gay couple, to see if the “federal hate crime statutes will apply,” after a man poured boiling water on the two last month. Martin Blackwell attacked his girlfriend’s son, Anthony Gooden, and his boyfriend, Marquez Tolbert, as they lay in bed sleeping.
Blackwell dated Gooden’s mother for three years prior to the Feb. 12 incident. He has been charged with two counts of aggravated battery, and remains in the Fulton County Jail. Of the attack, he reportedly told police, “They’ll be alright, it was just a little hot water.”
Gooden spent two weeks in a coma and was just recently released from the hospital. “I hate looking in the mirror, but it’s healing, ” the 23 year old said in an interview with Atlanta’s WSB-TV.
It is expected to take two years for him to fully recover. His boyfriend meanwhile, was hospitalized for 10 days and underwent surgery removing skin graphs from his thigh to replace the missing skin on his back. More than $100,000 has been raised to help pay their medical bills.
Gooden came out to his family last year, and was just getting comfortable bringing his boyfriend around. He and Tolbert had returned to his mother’s College Park apartment following a 12-hour work shift when Blackwell attacked them.
Gooden’s mother, Kim Foster, recalled a conversation she had with Blackwell about her son being gay, the night before the attack. “I said, ‘You need to mind your business,’” explained Foster. “‘[He said] well they laying up there.’ I said That is not your business. This is not your house.”
Foster said she “wanted to die” when she saw her child after Blackwell burned him, and has strong words for her now ex-boyfriend. “He is not human. He [has] hatred in his heart and God’s gonna’ deal with him.”