Prude Death Investigation

Palmyra man stabbed, calls it a hate crime

Local News

Matthew Virts says attacker made derogatory remark before the attack

NEWARK, N.Y. (WROC) — Matthew Virts says he had gone to Tommy Boy’s Bar in Newark in early March to meet some friends.

“There was a situation where an individual had said something that was inappropriate and was discriminatory and next thing you know, I woke up and I was being transported in an ambulance,” Virts said.

Virts was stabbed just under the chest.

The knife cut through his stomach and put him in the hospital for 5 days.

Virts says he doesn’t remember the attack.

“It was a group of people and there was one person that had been using social media to say discriminatory things before the incident and after the incident,” Virts said.

Those comments make Virts think he was attacked because of his sexuality, which is why he believes this was a hate crime.

“I believe it was an act to cause harm and it shouldn’t have happened,” Virts said.

Newark police say they’re close to making an announcement regarding the investigation adding DNA testing had been delayed, likely because of the COVID-19 crisis.

They are not commenting right now on Virts’ belief that this attack rises to the level of a hate crime.

“I hope they take it seriously enough to understand that this is something they’ll continue to tdeal with, it’s not just going to go away,” Virts said.

The Out Alliance in Rochester has been monitoring the case and has offered support for the Virts’ family, but said it will reserve judgment on the hate crime issue until the investigation is over.

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