A man has claimed he was beaten, punched and threatened with a gun after being asked at Memphis Zoo if he was gay.
Reginald Buckner told WMC Actions News 5 that he and his friends were approached near the dining area by two women who asked him if they could borrow his phone, to which he replied “no”.
After he refused, the women asked if they were gay.
Buckner explained: “They just asked all of us were we gay and we were like ‘yeah’ and they say ‘you know you’re going to hell right?’ and I said ‘wow’.”
He claims the women were then joined by a group of men, which saw the altercation take a violent turn.
Reginald was punched in the face and on the back before one of the attackers brandished a gun.
“They just started out of nowhere physically assaulting,” he remarked.
“That’s what made everyone start running away when they had the gun, when she lifted up the gun, everybody just started running.”
The 23-year-old also directed much of his frustration at the zoo workers who allowed the gun to be brought onto the premises in the first place.
He continued: “I am literally just disgusted by them, period. Because of the simple fact that they want to search everyone everywhere else. Why don’t they want to search at the zoo for weapons?”
Reginald was sent to an emergency room to be treated for bruising on his back, a black eye and a swollen face.
Memphis police officers responded to the zoo but explained that those accused of punching and attacking Buckner were already gone.
In a statement, The Memphis Zoo said: “This was an isolated incident. The safety of all of our guests is of utmost importance and one of our top priorities. This matter is currently being handled by the Memphis Police Department.”
Words Rob Henderson