Decatur teen arrested for attack on man because he was gay, police say | Crime and Courts


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Ethan Dickerson


DECATUR — A Decatur teen is being held on $1 million bail on preliminary charges he beat and attempted to kill a person because they are gay.

“‘You know why I have to do this. … You’re gay.  … You’re evil … I’m going to kill you,'” a Decatur police affidavit quoted Ethan Dickerson, 19, telling the victim in response to questions about why they were being attacked.

Dickerson faces preliminary charges of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery, aggravated unlawful restraint, home invasion, and a hate crime. Preliminary charges are subject to review by the state’s attorney’s office.

The affidavit said a police officer was dispatched to the 1100 block of Delray Court at approximately 5:30 p.m. Thursday on a report of someone breaking out a window of a residence.  

Upon arrival, the officer saw the broken window and heard an individual’s voice from inside calling for help, the affidavit said. 

After identifying himself by calling out, the officer could only hear screaming and pleas for help which prompted the officer to kick the front door down, the affidavit said. 

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Once inside, the officer said in the affidavit that they saw Dickerson, who was covered in blood, immediately drop to his knees to be taken into custody. 

Police found the victim in the kitchen area of the residence with multiple lacerations to his head and a “significant” amount of blood on himself and the floor. 

The affidavit said police found a pipe wrench on the ground and strands of duct tape, covered in blood, on a chair and the floor.

The victim said he was lying in bed when heard the glass on his front window shatter and got out of his bed to find Dickerson coming toward him, according to the affidavit. 

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Dickerson then started hitting him in the head, face and body with the pipe wrench, the affidavit said.

The victim said Dickerson duct-taped his wrists and mouth shut and forced him into a chair in the kitchen, where he was duct-taped to the chair. 

Dickerson then continued to beat him with the wrench and repeating why he was inflicting the wounds, the victim said. 

The affidavit said the victim was able to free himself when Dickerson went to the front porch to get a “cake.” 

When he came back inside, the two wrestled over the wrench until Dickerson got behind the victim, put the wrench across his neck and choked him. 

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The affidavit said the struggle continued until the responding officer kicked the door in and arrested Dickerson. 

The victim was taken to a hospital for treatment of the non-life threatening injuries that required multiple stitches.

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