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Friends Meet, Voice Support For Luke O'Donovan

Support Luke Defense Committee gather in solidarity for their friend and take a stand against homophobia.

LITTLE FIVE POINTS — In a symbolic show of unity and to take a stand against at what they say is homophobia, more than two dozen friends and supporters of Luke Patrick O'Donovan met Sunday evening in a "town hall" meeting to support their incarcerated friend.

O'Donovan, 19, remains in police custody following a New Year's Eve stabbing incident in Reynoldstown that left six people — including himself — injured with stab wounds.

He is charged with five counts of aggravated assault.

The victims have said the stabbings followed an argument they had with O'Donovan at the party.

But his friends, who formed the Support Luke Defense Committee that met at the Little Five Points Community Center, dispute that account. They say he was the victim of homophobic slurs after he was seen kissing another man and only defended himself after being attacked.

They also expressed frustration over initial media reports they said unfairly portrayed their friend as a crazed man on a stabbing rampage, and anger and fear over the possibility of being victims themselves of homophobic attacks.

They spent part of the meeting discussing ways to raise awareness of such incidents and preventative steps to take to keep from being victimized.

Atlanta police have launched an investigation into the claims that the incident was a homophobic attack.

On Sunday, an Atlanta Police Department spokesman said the case remains active.

"The assigned detective is continuing the investigation and interviewing witnesses," Sgt. Gregory Lyon said.

Meanwhile, O'Donovan's supporters said they have raised more than $3,600 toward his defense for the Luke O'Donovan Support Fund.

alice walker January 14, 2013 at 06:02 PM
$850? If you look at the WePay there is almost $4,000 in that account and an earlier post they made said at one fundraiser they got $850 in cash. I support this. Thanks for doing the legwork East Atlanta Patch.
Péralte Paul (Editor) January 14, 2013 at 06:08 PM
Thanks for the update, Alice. The one figure I saw was $850. I've updated and added the We Pay link.
Hilary W. January 14, 2013 at 11:53 PM
This incident still puzzles me, how can stabbing someone justify this kind of support? My parents always taught me that sticks and stones make break my bones but talking does not. Luke is not a officer of the law. He commited a violent act against someone. If he felt in danger he should have notified the officials. It should not matter if you are Gay, African American, Hispanic, Jewish, A Woman, Handicap. If anyone from those minority groups commited a act of violence such as this one they should be held accountable. .
erik turner January 15, 2013 at 01:51 AM
Hilary, you haven't been paying attention to this, I can tell. The claim isn't that O'Donovan attacked people who were calling him homophobic slurs. The claim is that they called him homophobic slurs, then jumped him, then stabbed him, and then he defended himself, ran away, and was arrested at the hospital. I'm sorry but if O'Donovan would've waited till the cops came, it sounds like he would've been dead dead dead. Although it's sad to see hear about a party spinning so far out of control, I guess it's better than waking up to hearing about someone killed by a violent mob for their sexual preferences, right?

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