The Federal Bureau of Investigation
(FBI) said Monday that it was looking at whether an attack on an
Atlanta gay couple was a hate crime.
On February 12, Anthony Gooden, 23, and
Marquez Tolbert, 21, were sleeping at Gooden's apartment which he
shares with his mother when the man she is dating, 48-year-old Martin
Luther Blackwell, spotted the pair sleeping on a mattress in the
“We woke up to boiling water,”
said. “I started screaming uncontrollably and I was pulled out
of the house. We ran to the neighbors and called the police.”
Blackwell has been charge with two
counts of aggravated battery and remains jailed, the AP reported.
Blackwell reportedly told the police
that he “poured a little hot water” on the men because “they
was stuck like two hot dogs.”
“They'll be alright. It was just a
little hot water,” Blackwell told investigators.
Both men were hospitalized; Tolbert
underwent a skin graft.
FBI spokesman Stephen Emmett said that
the FBI's Atlanta office “has initiated a federal civil
rights-based investigation to determine whether the federal hate
crime statute will apply.”
A gofundme.com campaign has raised more
than $120,000 to help pay the men's medical bills.