The victim of an alleged anti-gay hate crime has released an extensive statement on the experience, but stopped short of confirming that the attack was somehow motivated by her sexuality.
Mallory Owens of Mobile, Ala. was reportedly attending Thanksgiving dinner at the family home of girlfriend Ally Hawkins when she suffered multiple skull fractures and crushed bones after being attacked by Hawkins’ brother Travis Hawkins Jr., 18.
The 23-year-old Owens notes in the statement:
“I was unconscious when the beating ended. I do not know what stopped him. I do know he has threatened to kill me before, he has attacked me with a metal pipe before, and on Thanksgiving Day he launched an unprovoked attack on me that left me unconscious, hospitalized, suffering horrific head trauma, severe injuries and in need of surgery and additional treatment.
Since the attack, Travis Hawkins Jr. has been seen following my family and appearing at locations where they have gathered. He has threatened to finish me off. I believe as long as he is free on bond that my life continues to be in danger. Even beyond the physical harm, I am quite traumatized. I am afraid and I feel that I have been victimized repeatedly by the Hawkins family.”
Calling many of the media reports “orchestrated” by the Hawkins family as well as “premature and misguided,” Owens added:
“I am fortunate that my family’s love for me is unconditional.
Shoppers turned out in droves at malls and big-box stores around the country, taking advantage of Black Friday deals as retailers opened their doors earlier than ever on Thanksgiving.
Toys R Us, Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500) and Sears (SHLD, Fortune 500) got a head start on the big shopping weekend by opening at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. That’s even earlier than last year, when the toy retailer got a 9 p.m. start and Wal-Mart , the world’s largest retailer, opened at 10 p.m.
The crowd at the Toys R Us in New York’s Times Square started gathering about four hours ahead of the open, and was larger than it was last year, said CEO Jerry Storch.
“Our customers love the earlier opening,” said Storch. “The atmosphere is celebratory and the crowds have been happy and excited to start their holiday shopping.”
As the holiday season approaches, I think back to my childhood and the times enjoyed with my family. We were lucky. My immigrant parents realized the American Dream, and on the fourth Thursday of every November we had much to be thankful for. Even if my dad sometimes wasn’t there because he had to work, we didn’t mind. As a doctor, he and his fellow health care professionals knew that sickness takes no holiday. Policemen and firemen, plumbers and 911 operators: all kinds of Americans know well the sacrifices and pride that comes with providing essential services.
But while the right to one’s health and safety may be inalienable, the right to shop is not. Yet Wal-Mart recently announced that it would open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day; Target and Toys R Us followed suit, with plans to open at 9 p.m. They are hardly alone. The Gap Stores (Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic) will be open Thanksgiving Day, as will Sears and Kmart. Shoppers may appreciate the extra hours, but what about all the people who will have to end their Thanksgiving meal, or forgo it altogether, in order to man the cashiers and stock the shelves?
Five incarcerated Amish people requested to leave jail to attend an out-of-town wedding on Thanksgiving Day, according to information made available on Nov. 21, 2012. A federal judge in Cleveland, the Honorable Dan Polster, declined the Amish defendants’ plea to watch the bride and groom say their vows in person on Thursday. The judge cited a potential flight risk or possible danger to others, reported MSNBC.
A group of Amish men and women stand accused of forcibly cutting the beards and hair of other members of the Amish community in 2011. Several of the victims, which included men, women and the elderly, were injured by the eight-inch horse mane-cutting shears that was used in the beard-cutting and hair-cutting attacks.
The defendants, Amish bishop Samuel Mullet Sr. and 15 of his followers, including the five jailed Amish who can’t attend the wedding, are part of a breakaway Amish sect called the Bergholz clan.