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Man Charged With Killing Attacker In Alleged Gay-Bashing


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Man Charged With Killing Attacker In Alleged Gay-Bashing

by The Associated Press

Posted: November 8, 2005 1:00 pm ET

(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) A 21-year-old man was charged with stabbing to death one of four teenagers who allegedly attacked him near his home, a fight his parents said erupted because their son is gay.

Lucas Dawson pleaded not guilty Tuesday in a brief court appearance.

Dawson says he was walking from his home in the city's East Mount Airy neighborhood on Oct. 29 to catch a bus downtown, where he intended to meet with friends to discuss his audition for "American Idol" the day before.

The aspiring singer crossed the street to avoid the four teens, but they rushed him, said his stepfather, David Dawson.

"One of them punched him in the mouth," David Dawson told the Philadelphia Daily News for a story Tuesday. "They knocked him to the ground. They kicked him. They stomped him. They called him faggot."

Lucas Dawson pulled out a small pocket knife and waved it at the teens to push them back, David Dawson said. He then ran but was grabbed by Gerald Knight, 17, who was fatally stabbed in the chest in the ensuing struggle, his stepfather said.

"Because somebody died, I can understand he might have to do some jail time," David Dawson said. "But at the same time, let the truth be told about what really happened."

Knight's family declined to comment.

Dawson, who is charged with voluntary manslaughter, has remained in prison because his family could not raise the $30,000 for his bail. He could face a maximum of 30 years in prison if he is convicted.

His mother, Lisa Dawson, said she fears for her son's safety even if he is acquitted of the charges because the other three teens threatened him.

Lucas Dawson told his family he was gay nearly four years ago.

"That's always been my biggest fear," his mother said. "That someone would attack him just because he is gay."

The day before the attack, Lucas Dawson, who works as a clerical temp, had performed in front of the "American Idol" judges, his family said. He was cut after the third round.

"He and Randy (Jackson) got into a little argument over something," his mother said. "But it was all just show business."

©365Gay.com 2005


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