Gay customer called slur, beaten in store - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Gay customer called slur, beaten in store

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William Eugene Massey William Eugene Massey
Second suspect Second suspect
Suspects' vehicle Suspects' vehicle

A man is charged with aggravated assault after a gay slur escalated into a violent attack inside an East Nashville convenience store.

William Eugene Massey was arrested after the May 18 incident at the Z-Mart on Dickerson Pike.

According to a Davidson County affidavit, Massey was holding beer while waiting in line at the register.

Another man asked him "Where's the party at?" and Massey allegedly responded with a gay slur.

The man, who is gay, asked if he had been called the slur and Massey said he did, then repeatedly asked "Now what's up?", according to the affidavit.

Massey allegedly went back to his car and told another person to help him "handle that."

The pair went back inside the market and punched the victim in the head and face, causing the man to lose consciousness, police said. The victim needed 13 stitches on his face.

Police reviewed surveillance video from the store, and a parole officer recognized Massey.

He is due in court on June 18.

Investigators are now searching for the second suspect in the beating. He is described as a black man in his mid or late 20s. He wore his hair in braided rows and appears to be approximately 5'9" tall, police said.

He and Massey drove off in a gold Chevrolet Avalanche.

Anyone who recognizes the second suspect should call Crime Stoppers at 74-CRIME.

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