Feb 13, 2012

Video: Gays Pummeled at Rio's Airport

Brazil News

| RIO DE JANEIRO – A gay couple was viciously attacked by two pirate taxi drivers outside the Rio de Janeiro International Airport on Monday. Images of the attack were captured by the airport's surveillance cameras.

Gay Couple Attacked in Rio (Video G1 RJ)

According to investigators, the couple was approached at the exit of the Airport by an unlicensed taxi driver who offered to drive them to their destination. When the couple refused the solicitation, the driver began to taunt them, making light of their sexuality.

There was an exchange of punches between the driver and one of the young men. His companion tried to break up the fight and the three ended up falling to the ground. A second pirate driver then came up and kicked the face of the first man's companion as he lay on the ground, police said.

The chief said that the first taxi driver fled after the fight, but was located by police on Monday evening. The other driver was arrested shortly after the scuffle. The two attackers face charges of inflicting grave bodily harm and attempted murder.

The attack lasted just a few moments and police and security guards were on the scene almost immediately. Several people in the crowd can also be seen in the video trying to intervene.

The man who was kicked in the face was taken to a local hospital on Governor's Island. His nationality and condition at this hour is unknown. Tourists are pouring into the city of Rio de Janeiro this week to celebrate Carnaval, which ends on Ash Wednesday.

Attacks on gays are uncommon in this city which aims to become a world capital for gay tourism. The city is often compared to San Francisco in its embrace of gay culture. "Rio is a city without prejudice," Eduardo Paes, the city's mayor, said as he inaugurated the city's Gay Tolerance Week last July. "It is an open city that accepts everything with an open heart."

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Source(s) for this article: G1 RJ

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