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Emmy-Award Winning Journalist Attacked In Vicious Anti-Gay Hate Crime

Matt Belanger, an Emmy-award winning news reporter from Minnesota was attacked in vicious anti-gay hate crime and is now facing the risk of having permanently damaged his vision. 

Earlier this month the reporter posted a video on Facebook wearing an eyepatch, explaining why he hasn’t been on TV lately. In the video, Belanger explains that he was attacked by an unknown man whilst waiting for the train to go to work one morning. 

“A man, who I do not know, suddenly from close range threw something at my face,” he said in the video. “It had enough force to cause some damage to my left eye. And that’s why I’m wearing the eye patch here, to protect my eye as it heals.”

Belanger was then taken to the hospital where he was told that he suffered a corneal and ocular abrasion, which could result in permanent vision damage and that he also had internal bleeding.

Police have arrested Vennie Jerome Williams in connection to the assault after using security camera footage. 

Police said that Williams “made statements indicating that he assaulted [Belanger] because he perceived that [he] was homosexual” while he was in custody. According to ‘LGBTQ Nation’, Williams has been charged with third-degree assault causing substantial bodily harm and harassment with intent to injure. He could get up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

In his Facebook post Belanger assured his viewers that he plans to return to work once he has healed.

“It’s hard, honestly, to be at home sidelined right now at a time when our viewers, I feel, need journalists on TV perhaps now more than ever,” he said. “I miss you all, and I’ll be back very soon,” he concluded.

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