CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina, April 14, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNCCH) student with a vicious burn wound lied when he reported the injury as an anti-gay attack, school officials have said.
Quinn Matney had filed a report with UNC police claiming that he was attacked on campus April 4 by an unidentified male who branded him with an unknown object. Images show a severe burn that went through the muscle layer to the tendons of his wrist.
“He said, here’s a taste of hell, you [expletive] fag,” Matney told NBC17. “I tried to get away, he wouldn’t let go. He didn’t actually let go til I punched him full in the face.”
Matney said the attack had left him with fourth-degree burns and nerve injury.
Terri Phoenix, director of the school’s LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) Center at the Division of Student Affairs, said the attack was typical of anti-gay activity. “It is often the case that it is a random type thing like that,” said the woman.
But a day after media coverage broke on Monday, UNCCH Department of Public Safety officials said they had determined that no attack had actually occurred. The school did not provide an explanation of how the injury came about or why the report was falsified.
However Matney’s father told media that the wound was self-inflicted. “A friend saw the wound, and he was embarrassed to say it was self-inflicted. He made up something on the spot, thought that would be the end of it,” said David Matney III, according to the Daily Tar Heel, a student newspaper at UNC. At that point, however, his friends reportedly told him that he was the victim of a hate crime, and should report the incident.
“He did not know how to stop the ball once it started rolling,” David Matney said. “This was nothing malicious that Quinn did. It got away from him.”
Matney is likely to face charges for filing the false report.