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Report: They said it was an alleged anti-gay attack, but it appears to be a hoax

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Last month on Twitter hashtag #istandwithzayah became a trending topic after two persons claimed they were allegedly assaulted in Allentown Pennsylvania. Alike many other reports of previous anti-gay assaults, this set off a firestorm of tweets among the gay community and others as a whole. After noticing these images online, The Daily News set out to investigate the claims in an effort to gain more information about the reported attack.

The claims first surfaced sometime around April 10th on Twitter after Luis C (the reported boyfriend of Isaiah Cruz) appeared on Twitter claiming that in the images below, Isaiah, had been viciously attacked in Allentown Pennsylvania. One of our reporters, Dexter Phillip, managed to initially contact the young man who at the time provided a street name and a vicinity in which the alleged attack happened.

On the surface it appeared that two innocent young men had been attacked, however, after following up with nearby police precincts — we’ve gained information that suggests this story is a hoax. Allentown Police confirmed to The Daily News that there was/is no report of an Isaiah Cruz having been attacked anytime in the past 90 days and they were unaware of what we were talking about upon contacting them.

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Initially, there were several holes in the story. Among those notable holes, the media first shared on the Twitter page.

Please be advise the images below are graphic in nature. 

Noticeably, one of the first photos is oddly inverted (but a video shows the alleged wounds on the opposite side of his face) neither young man was able to explain why that is. Luis claimed in the initial tweets that he didn’t get injured, but, Isaiah suffered “A number of injuries” during the attack. The problem is that the video shows the injuries on the polar opposite side of the face — the image shows them on the other.

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Since reports of crime in any capacity is reported we followed up with local law enforcement. Given that Isaiah and Luis said they did the same, anyone could have confirmed or denied the plausible story. 

We spoke with the Captain Gress of Allentown Police Department to confirm the report. According to him there was no such report, the investigation department had no record, and his fellow officers could not corroborate the allegation. 

This further lead to a cause for suspicion.

We have followed up with both Luis and Isaiah since then to for any updates but the facts thus far present a story that is riddled with questions. There is a suspicion that this is a ploy to gain something from social media and that is ambiguous.

With examples such as Victoria Morrison; Katelyn McClure, Mark D’Amico, or Barry Sutton what could seemingly be seen as legit can unravel into half-truths at which time the intent of the hoax is accomplished. 


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By Dexter Phillip-Khane

Dexter Phillip-Khane is the Deputy Editor at Bazaar Daily News. Covering interesting topics; food, and more — Phillip-Khane is a Trinidadian-American writer and photographer residing in New York City. To request secure communications access, e-mail [email protected] and ask for Signal.

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