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Penn State Student Charged in Alleged Anti-Gay Assault

by on October 15, 2015 1:30 PM

A Penn State student has been arrested for the alleged anti-gay assault that went viral on social media last week.

Following a State College police investigation, it was determined that Matthew Chandlee, an 18-year-old Penn State Altoona student, was involved in a confrontation with the victim outside the Sigma Nu fraternity house on North Burrowes Road.

Chandlee has been charged with misdemeanor simple assault and a summary count of harassment. Pennsylvania hate crime legislation does not currently cover sexual orientation.

According a press release from State College police, Chandlee was kicked out of the fraternity and was involved in a verbal argument with fraternity brothers as he was escorted from the house.

During the course of that argument, derogatory comments and obscenities were exchanged, including one homophobic slur directed at Chandlee.

The victim, who has identified himself on social media as gay, was offended when he heard the unidentified slur and asked both Chandlee and the fraternity brother to stop using it.

As the victim and Chandlee walked away from the property toward the service road leading to Walker Building on campus, Chandlee reportedly began yelling at the victim, "What are you looking at?"

When asked why he was following the victim, Chandlee reportedly replied, "You're gay. I hate gays."

According to police, Chandlee then punched the victim in the face, "immediately causing a loud ringing in his ears." The victim reported that he was either hit a second time or struck his head on the ground as he fell. The victim called a friend who came to help and he was provided first aid by the Sigma Nu fraternity brothers.

"The victim reported he suffered impaired vision and pain for over 24 hours, had a bleeding laceration above his eye, and had bruising and swelling in the eye area," the police press release said. "The victim reported he was still experiencing pain in his eye more than a week after the incident."

The incident first garnered public attention when a Facebook post from the victim's friend and a Twitter post from the victim went viral, with the latter being retweeted over 12,000 times. The tweet included pictures of the victims bloodied face and hand with the caption, "Don't let a frat guy know you're gay." Police later determined that the assailant, Chandlee, is not a member of a fraternity

You can watch State College Police Lt. Keith Robb discuss the case below:



Zach Berger is the managing editor of StateCollege.com. He graduated from Penn State University in 2014 with a degree in print journalism. Zach enjoys writing about a variety of topics ranging from football to government, music, and everything in between.
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