Report of hate-crime attack on gay student was false, UNC says

Matney. (Source: WRAL)
Matney. (Source: WRAL)

CHAPEL HILL, NC (WRAL/WBTV) - A gay student at UNC-Chapel Hill, who claimed a brutal hate-crime assault last week, was likely not telling the truth, university officials told WRAL Tuesday.

UNC-CH Chancellor Holden Thorp said the student, who told authorities he was branded with a searing hot object because of his sexual orientation, filed a false police report and that the incident will not be reported as a hate crime, WRAL reported.

Quinn Matney, who is gay, told authorities April 5 that a man walked up to him near a foot bridge on campus, called him a derogatory name, told him "here is a taste of hell," and held a heated object to his skin for several seconds, leaving third- and fourth-degree burns, WRAL reported.

The University had classified the incident as a hate-crime and various campus groups were outraged by the alleged crime -- that might have never have actually taken place as Matney claims.

Randy Young, a spokesman for UNC's public safety department, said charges of filing a false police report are likely against Matney.

University officials initially called the assault a hate crime and pledged to "bring the strongest possible charges against the attacker."

Thorp said the university takes incidents of harassment seriously, but did not release any additional details.

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