An Atlanta man was arrested and charged with throwing a pot of scalding hot water on a gay couple as they lay in bed in his girlfriend's apartment.
Authorities are considering filing federal hate crime charges against Martin Blackwell, 48, who is being held in the Fulton County jail without bond.
Blackwell told police he threw "just a little hot water" on the men because he was "disgusted" by their relationship. The attack happened in February.
The AJC.com reports that one of the gay men, Anthony Gooden, is the son of Blackwell's girlfriend. Gooden lived with his mother and Blackwell in her Buffington Road apartment.
Marquez Tolbert suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns on his neck, back and arms. He spent 10 days at Grady Hospital undergoing painful surgeries to have skin grafted from his thigh to replace the burned areas on his back.
Gooden was released from the hospital on Friday.
“The pain doesn’t let you sleep,” a tearful Tolbert told Channel 2 Action News. “It’s just like it’s excruciating 24 hours a day, and it doesn't go anywhere,” Tolbert said. “It doesn't dial down, anything. It's just there."
Tolbert recalls Blackwell's rage. "Martin pulled me up and said, 'Get out of my house with all that gay,'" Tolbert said. "I couldn't stop screaming.”
He called the scars on his back and arms scars of hate.
"Why else would you pour boiling hot water on somebody?" Tolbert asked.
WSB-TV reports that the Atlanta Police Department LGBT liaison worked to make sure Blackwell was not released on bond.