Marine Corps veteran says he became target of hate crime
A Marine Corps veteran says he became a random target in the Short North and police are consulting with prosecutors to determine if the case is a hate crime.
Grant Gray enlisted in the Marines in 2011 and served seven months in Afghanistan last year. "My job in the Marine Corps was the 7-51. It's aircraft rescue and firefighting," Gray told ABC 6/FOX 28 from his home near Lima. "Pretty much rescuing downed pilots when they crash."
He's now studying sports management at Miami University and has been thinking about transferring to OSU for business. He came here to Columbus out homes and apartments Friday.
But he says rather than finding support, he was the recipient of hate. "I don't remember too much because I have a pretty severe concussion," Gray said.
Gray went to the Pint House in the Short North Friday night with his high school friend. He stepped outside to make a call when he said he was approached and beaten unconscious. Gray said he remembered waking up at Grant Medical Center with the concussion and broken nose.
Police say a responding officer to the attack noted seeing Gray stumbling around disoriented. He went to the officer, stated he was a former Marine and said he was punched by three black men who kept referring to him as "white."
The attackers took none of Gray's belongings. "I even had an Apple watch on and they didn't steal that," Gray said.
Gray will now miss a least a week of class at Miami University and is scheduled for reconstructive surgery next week. He's hoping anyone with information will come forward as police say they've made no arrests.
"I'm not going to lie to you. I have a concussion and I really don't know the full details," Gray said.