Gay teenager brutally beaten and choked by fellow student for wearing a Pride flag

·2 min read
<p>Tristen Torrez, 14, said that he wore the LGBT+ pride flag around his shoulders to come out as openly gay</p> (WTOL11)

Tristen Torrez, 14, said that he wore the LGBT+ pride flag around his shoulders to come out as openly gay

(WTOL11)

Video footage has revealed the moment a gay teenager in Ohio was beaten by one of his peers while wearing an LGBT+ Pride flag to celebrate his identity.

Tristen Torrez, 14, told WTOL11, that he wore the pride flag around his shoulders to his school in Defiance City last week to celebrate his identity and come out as openly gay.

"This was my official way of saying I was gay and not trying to hide it," Tristen told the broadcaster in an appearance with his mother.

"I was wearing it to state a message, and state just because one person is who they are, proud of who they are, doesn't mean others shouldn't be proud of who they are," he said.

In the broadcaster’s exclusive clip, a student, who has not been identified, approaches Tristen from behind and throws him down onto a set of bleachers while ripping the flag from around his shoulders and throwing it at him.

"He's so used to the bullying it was kind of nothing to him, but to me, it was heartbreaking,” Brianne Torrez, Tristen's mother, said.

The 14-year-old said that the student didn’t say anything ahead of the incident and claimed that he poured water on him and “choked” him during the incident.

"He hit me with the flag that I was wearing, after ripping it off my neck," Tristen explained. He added that he heard someone had been dared to attack him.

“Someone told me it was because I said a racial slur, which was completely false," he told the station, "some people said it was because I'm gay and just to do it anyway."

The 14-year-old said he did not know the student. Footage of the incident was posted across a number of social media platforms, according to WTOL11, and quickly gained attention.

Defiance City Schools superintendent Bob Morton told the outlet that the district was aware of the situation, adding it had been “dealt with swiftly” by the school and local law enforcement.

“Situations like this are taken seriously. We appreciate you bringing it to our attention,” he reportedly added.

The Independent has contacted Defiance City Police Department regarding the incident.

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