Two black, gay US soldiers were brutally attacked in a Croatian nightclub at the weekend.
The pair they were beaten by 10 thugs for dancing ‘a little more vigorously’ than others in a Croatian nightclub Opera nightclub in the city of Zadar.
Ny’Zavian Dozier, 24, a popular Instagram fitness model, and Keith D. Rowe, 25, were assaulted at around 3.00am.
Check out the clip of Rowe below:
In an Instagram video, a black-eyed Rowe told followers:
Me and Dozier got jumped by 10 Croatian men and basically we were fighting for our lives. There was one point when I believe there was a guy that had me in a headlock.
Thankfully, a girl the pair met at the club that night helped them after the attack. Rowe added: ‘She is my angel, an amazing friend.’
Following the attack, a police investigation has been launched, with a spokesperson saying:
On the night of Saturday, Sunday, after three o’clock, police received reports that several people had taken part in a fight, and upon entering the field, it was determined that the men, American citizens ‘danced a little more vigorously’ and that annoyed these men who attacked them.
We are still determining whether this is a hate attack. We are looking for the perpetrators, and we cannot confirm at this time that they are US soldiers.
At the time of the attack, the victims were allegedly under the influence of alcohol. Despite the fact they didn’t report the circumstances of the incident during the police intervention, the criminal investigation will continue. No arrests have currently been made at the time of writing.
Since leaving the territory of the Republic of Croatia, both soldiers have subsequently made additional statements about the incident on social media.
An official statement by the American Embassy in Zagreb read:
The US Embassy in Zagreb condemns the recent violent attacks on two US tourists in Zadar. The well-being and security of US citizens abroad is one of the State Department’s top priorities. The Embassy is ready to provide appropriate assistance to American citizens in need and their families. Due to privacy issues, we are unable to comment further on this case.
The owner of the Opera Club, Pjerino Bebic, told Croatian media that he was not at the club during the incident.
I condemn any violence, we at the Opera have such a relationship that all our guests are welcomed and no one ever looks at skin colour, religion or anything like that. There were a lot of guests in the club on Sunday night. Our staff intervened to prevent a major incident.
They called the police who took statements from everybody. Our staff, along with the manager, did everything they could. I’m very disappointed when any hospitality facility in Zadar is mentioned this way. We will strive to make our guests feel welcome always.
While LGBTQ+ rights have progressed in Croatia, there are still clear challenges. For example, under Croatian law, a single person has the right to foster, but a person in a same-sex marriage does not.
Gay men, bisexuals, and lesbians were formerly excluded from the US Army under the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law. The Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010 saw these restrictions wiped off the board.
Recently, judges were ordered to dish out harsher sentences as LGBTQ+ hate crimes soar across the UK, with recommendations that those found guilty of hate crimes related to sexual orientation and gender identity should be handed at least six months in prison.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence contact the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30, 9am until 9pm Monday to Friday, and 10am until 6pm Saturday, or email [email protected]
After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He’s now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.