A Kansas University student is planning a candlelight vigil to protest last FridayÃ¢ÂÂs beating of a gay man outside the Replay Lounge, 946 Mass.
Ã¢ÂÂThere needs to be a community response to this - the community needs to take a stand against violence,Ã¢ÂÂ said Ailecia Ruscin, an American studies graduate student from Auburn, Ala.
The vigil will begin at 1:30 a.m. Friday outside the Replay Lounge. ItÃ¢ÂÂs expected to last about 30 minutes.
Ã¢ÂÂI know thatÃ¢ÂÂs a hard time for some people, but itÃ¢ÂÂs symbolic. ItÃ¢ÂÂs one week after the attack happened,Ã¢ÂÂ Ruscin said.
Ruscin says she is acquainted with the victim.
Ã¢ÂÂI know him from hanging out at the Replay,Ã¢ÂÂ she said. Ã¢ÂÂHeÃ¢ÂÂs an acquaintance.Ã¢ÂÂ
Jeffery Medis, 28, suffered a broken nose, fractured upper and lower jaws, a fractured eye socket, a concussion and a gash on his chin that took six stitches to close. He also suffered a seizure, and two of his teeth were knocked out.
Medis, who does not have health insurance, told police he couldnÃ¢ÂÂt identify his attacker - or attackers - and couldnÃ¢ÂÂt remember the assault.
Ã¢ÂÂThe only thing I remember is that I was standing outside waiting on my friends to get their coats,Ã¢ÂÂ Medis said.
Medis said he was convinced he was beaten for being gay and that the incident should be prosecuted as a hate crime. His sister filed a civil rights complaint Monday with the FBI.
Ã¢ÂÂI really want to see something done. IÃ¢ÂÂd like to see a precedent set,Ã¢ÂÂ Medis said. Ã¢ÂÂI mean, a person shouldnÃ¢ÂÂt be afraid to step outside and nearly get killed - this is like having a serial rapist on the loose.Ã¢ÂÂ
Sgt. Mike Pattrick, spokesman for the Lawrence Police Department, said detectives were continuing to check leads received on the CrimeStoppers tip line.
Pattrick said detectives were not sure what role MedisÃ¢ÂÂ homosexuality played in the incident.
Ã¢ÂÂAt this point,Ã¢ÂÂ he said, Ã¢ÂÂweÃ¢ÂÂre not classifying it as a hate crime because we donÃ¢ÂÂt know if thatÃ¢ÂÂs what it is.Ã¢ÂÂ
News of the planned vigil surprised Medis, who says he is staying holed up in his apartment until his face heals.
Ã¢ÂÂThis whole thing has made me realize how many friends I have and how many really good people there are in Lawrence, especially at the Replay,Ã¢ÂÂ he said. Ã¢ÂÂI wouldnÃ¢ÂÂt be making it without them.Ã¢ÂÂ