Since KnowThyNeighbor published its post Is Provincetown Safe For Gays? alot more information has come to light, not just to us but to the victim of the assault also. I called this current blog post "Discrepancies In the Recent Provincetown Assault of a Gay Man--Or Are They" for a reason. No one, including the police, are denying that a very serious assault did occur to a man around 12:30 AM on Monday September 10th, in Provincetown near the beach in the vicinity of Spiritus Pizza. The positive evidence indicates (which you can see from the photos of the victim) that there does exist head injury--major swelling to the victim's face, temple region and large area abrasions circumnavigating the victim's face. The Provincetown Police Dept. Incident Report, which KTN has, reads, "Rescue/Assault" and "facial lacerations/abraisions" and "w/victim stating he was assaulted 30 min's ago in the allyway by Bubala's between Comm'l St and the beach" and "has the victim assaulted by 3 young males."
KnowThyNeighbor's Tom Lang, spoke to Provincetown Chief of Police, Warren Tobias today. He admits to only having been told of this incident 2 days ago (7 days after the assault) and is concerned about mis-information in the blogosphere. I assured him that KTN's motive from the moment we received word of the assault was to make sure that the victim was getting the proper advocacy and that the perpetrators were found. Chief Tobias understood my being distraught at the fact that 1) when I called the Provincetown Police last weekend, no one could tell me if there was an active investigation or if there was an active search for the men who assaulted the victim 2) Spiritus Pizza (near where the incident occurred had not been contacted by the police nor had any other establishment in the area of the crime 3) the town manager's office could not answer if there was an investigation either. My concern is also that no one else in Provincetown would become a victim of these three men. But Chief Tobias assures me that now that he is on the case, that there is an active, on-going investigation.
So I had some questions of my own for Chief Tobias. Did he doubt that the victim was indeed assaulted? Absolutely not. Does he think the Provincetown Police are doing enough to find the perps? They are doing all they can do based on the information. But what about the two "mystery men" who called the police and were with the victim when the police responded (as per the incident report)? Who were they, why were no names or cell numbers or testimonies taken by the responding officers? Answer, we are investigating that ourselves, I cannot say if we did or didn't take a statement from these men, the officer who would know that hasn't been in for a while... (note: the victim has no idea who these two men are or that they called the police)
Chief Tobias' greatest concern is that the victim needs to meet with the Provincetown Police again in person to give them any more information that he remembers to assist in the investigation. I explained to Chief Tobias that the head injury that the victim received in this assault may very well be the reason why the victim suffered from short-term memory loss, had blacked out and was able then to speak and deny himself medical attention (evidently, medical personal did show up at the scene of the assault). I recounted to the Chief my first telephone conversation with the victim in which I was told that he cannot remember many of the details immediately following the blow to his right temple and that he only fully gained control over his cognitive capabilities after having found himself in his car halfway home to New Bedford. The victim said it hit him hard to realize not only what had happened to him and how vulnerable he was for at least an hour of "black out" but that he had driven his car from Ptown to Barnstable without knowing that he was doing it.
So let me clear up some of the mis-information brought to my attention by Chief Tobias. The victim was not found on the beach but on a bench in front of Spiritus Pizza. There is an alley across the street from Spiritus which leads directly to the beach. The victim was offered medical treatment but refused it (anyone can refuse medical treatment when asked, it isn't a mandatory procedure). The next day, the victim called the Provincetown Police and was not told that "it is best just to leave it alone" as was reported on KTN as a statement by the victim (the chief listened to the recorded conversation).
According to KTN's interviews with the victim himself...the victim did not remember having refused medical help on the scene. He did not remember having told the police at the scene anything about his attackers (the police incident report read "victim was assaulted by 3 young males). Now, this is very important, the victim did not remember his conversation with the police at the scene of the crime immediately following his head trauma resulting from the attack. He does and did however, remember the nature of the attack and a basic description of the attackers, age, hair color, number. We can only speculate why the victim suffered from memory loss of events occuring immediately from the time of head trauma to approximately an hour after the head trauma but it does not take much to deduce that maybe it had something to do with "the head trauma."
Chief Tobias agreed to email KTN with a press statement (rec'd by KTN 9-20-07:
He is looking forward to interviewing the victim in person and is looking for the attackers. The Provincetown Police are investigating business webcams as we suggested in our first blog. Chief Tobias said that we (KnowThyNeighbor) should be applauded for the advocacy work we do. KnowThyNeighbor hopes to applaud Chief Tobias and the Provincetown Police when they find the perpetrators of this senseless attack.
Tom Lang, Co-Director
**I helped Chief Tobias navigate the KTN blog while I was on the phone with him. He had not yet seen the "before" photo of the victim, only the "after" photo. When Chief Tobias scrolled down and viewed the photo of the victim (taken 18 hours before the attack) Chief Tobias said, "he doesn't look like the same person."**