A gay man says police aren’t doing enough to keep him safe after he was violently attacked by his neighbour for reporting him for domestic abuse.
Stephen Wentzell, 23, lives in Halifax, Canada. On August 31 he reported his next door neighbour for domestic abuse, but police “didn’t really do anything” and left without incident, he told Global News.
It seems the man suspected Wentzell was the one who’d called the police, as he came to his door two weeks later in the middle of the night and assaulted him.
“He just drunkenly stumbled up those steps, and next thing you know it was just closed fists left and right to my temples,” he said.
When he realised the danger of the situation Wentzell took out his phone and started recording, documenting the horrifying scene as evidence.
“Call the cops you f**king faggot. You do it to me again, I will f**k you up,” the man says, his words accompanied by sickening thuds as he beats the victim.
“I took more than a dozen punches to the head while being called a faggot [and] kicked in the face until his boot fell off. I’m alright but not okay,” Wentzell said on Twitter as he shared the graphic audio.
Last night I was viscously attacked by my neighbour after reporting him to @HfxRegPolice for abusing his wife.
I took more than a dozen punches to the head while being called a faggot + kicked in the face until his boot fell off.
I’m alright but not okay.
**graphic audio** pic.twitter.com/MO2bUvUosq
— Stephen Wentzell (@StephenWentzell) September 19, 2020
Fortunately Wentzell suffered no serious injuries other than a concussion, but now lives in fear of his attacker next door as the man was released from police custody.
Halifax Regional Police declined an interview with Global News, but said in a statement: “It is important to remember that the police do not have the ability or authority to evict residents from their homes in these circumstances.
“Having said that, we have continued to maintain contact to ensure the victim is fully aware of what would constitute breaching those conditions, and what steps are involved to report such information.”
It’s little comfort to Wentzell, who is calling for the attack to be treated as a hate crime in addition to the existing charges of assault uttering threats and intimidation.
“I don’t have much faith that they’ll follow through with it. But I’m going to keep advocating for it anyway,” he said.