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Posts for July, 2009

Anti-Gay Attacks Rock World OutGames in Copenhagen

Jim Burroway

July 29th, 2009

According to the Copenhagen Post, a man was arrested for throwing two bombs at track and field event

Copenhagen police have charged a 31-year-old man with committing a hate crime after he threw powerful explosives at participants in the city’s World Outgames event, public broadcaster DR has indicated in a report.

A 31-year-old city man was arrested yesterday at St. Jakobs Church in Østerbro, where he allegedly threw the explosives at the games’ track and field participants at Østerbro Stadium. He managed to throw two bombs before police arrived on the scene and took him into custody.

One injury was reported. Dean Koga, 58, of the Seattle Frontrunners, was treated for shrapnel in his right hand. He returned to compete againt the following day. OutSports has more coverage:

The 55-59 age group was in the starting area in the men’s 4×200-meter relay about 2 p.m. when a loud explosion was heard. Rob Lyons, a member of the New York Frontrunners, was taking photos and standing just feet from the blast, and said that the race starter looked at his gun, thinking it had misfired. “My ears were totally ringing,” Lyons said.

After a brief delay and with everyone assuming the first blast was some one-off prank, the race was set to resume. That’s when a second bomb was tossed.

“It lit up the whole area” near the relay start, said Stephen Stuehling, a member of the Seattle Frontrunners, who was on the other side of the track warming up for his relay when the second bomb hit.

“The [bomb] container hit the ground and everyone yelled to run,” said Koga, who was in his running lane and then headed for the infield area. “That’s when I felt the impact” from the shrapnel that ricocheted off the ground and into the top part of his right hand.

OutSports reports that after police arrived, the attacker threw a third bomb that rolled under the van of a film crew. That’s when police were able to chase down and arrest the suspect.

This bomb-throwing attack follows an earlier hate crime incident during last Friday night’s opening ceremonies. Two men, aged 28 and 33, were arrested after attacking three visitors from England, Sweden and Norway. The three victims were treated at a hospital for their injuries and released.