During a grisly alleged hate crime in Lincoln, Nebraska, three masked men purportedly stormed a lesbian's home, bound her and carved words into her skin. While the woman survived the attack, the horrifying incident could have come to a much more horrific ending.
Aside from purportedly marking the woman, the perpetrators painted a derogatory term for lesbians inside the home, poured gasoline around the house and lit it. While a fire naturally started, the damage was minimal. According to police, the woman escaped the home and fled to a neighbor for help.
Here's how Reuters described the attack:
The woman told police that three masked men entered her home in south Lincoln early Sunday morning, tied her up and carved words into her body with a knife, according to a police report. Local media reported that the words were gay slurs, but police declined to confirm this.
Police did confirm that the woman was injured and treated at a local hospital. Anti-gay graffiti was spray-painted inside the home, according to police. A fire also was set in the kitchen, but burned itself out after causing about $200 in damage, according to a police arson report.
Another photo of the alleged painting, which includes the derogatory term "dyke" is below (this image was published on The Examiner). The message appears to read, in its entirety, "F**k u. We found u Dyke":
The neighbor who the woman ran to, Linda Rappl, was stunned to find the 33-year-old woman, sobbing, naked and bloodied, at her front door on Sunday morning. The 68-year-old woman wrapped a blanket around the victim and invited her inside, promptly calling 911 to respond to the scene.
"I was in shock," Rappl said, according to CNN. "She was naked, her hands were tied with zip ties. All I could see was a cut across her forehead and blood running down."
Rappl went on to say that it looked as though the woman had been tortured, as there were also cuts on her legs.
The Daily Mail has more about the community's reaction to the horrific attack:
The local community banded together in a vigil organized by a local LGBT group on Sunday night. More than 500 people attended to show their outrage at the attack and support for the victim.
Mayor Chris Beutler said authorities would do everything to ensure justice is done and denounced violence directed at any group.
Police are still investigating the incident and the woman at the center of it is said to be out of the hospital and living in a safe house. Rappl describes her as a wonderful individual and a friend who is always going out of her way to help neighbors and the local community.
Cops are reluctant to release too much information about the crime, as they do not want to compromise future interviews with suspects. For now, it seems the community is rallying heavily behind the victim, as answers and justice are sought.