Police officers alleged witnessing the British vlogging star injuring himself after he was arrested for vandalism
British YouTube personality Calum McSwiggan has claimed he was beaten by three attackers in a homophobic hate crime outside a West Hollywood gay bar, but now a police spokesperson has alleged that officers were “unable to substantiate the assault.”
While attending VidCon, an event for YouTube and vlogging stars, McSwiggan said that he went to Abbey, a gay nightclub, to toast a successful weekend. Stalked by three men, it then became the “worst night” of McSwiggan’s life, he alleged, saying the trio assaulted him after he left the club.
Posting a photo of himself on a hospital trolley on his social media accounts, McSwiggan said that he had been brutally beaten, with “three broken teeth and six stitches in my forehead,” adding that he’d “never felt so terrified to be a gay man in the public eye.”
McSwiggan also accused local police of failing to protect him and treating him “like a second class citizen.” He thanked three of his friends for standing by him during the attack, including two Irish YouTube personalities, Melanie Murphy and Riyadh K.
But now Holly M Perez, captain of the West Hollywood Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, has cast doubt on McSwiggan’s claims. She alleges that the YouTube vlogger had “no visible injuries,” and was arrested after “deputies observed him vandalising a car.”
A mug shot of the 26-year-old McSwiggan does not appear to show a head wound, and the Sheriff’s Department alleges that station personnel witnessed him “injuring himself with the handle and receiver to a payphone inside the cell.”
The processing photo of Calum McSwiggan issued by the West Hollywood Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Riyadh Khalaf, a YouTuber from Bray, Co Wicklow who rose to prominence during the same-sex marriage referendum campaign, tweeted that he had spent the evening with McSwiggan, who was attacked when separated from his friends. Khalaf added that he believes the attackers had followed the group’s movements based on social media posts that had sent throughout the night.
Both Khalaf and Melanie Murphy have pledged support to their friend, and all three are remaining silent on the issue until legal matters have been dealt with.
I'm not commenting until tomorrow when we know more and can legally speak. I saw Cal screaming crying after the attack. He didn't fake it— Riyadh Khalaf (@RiyadhK) June 29, 2016
None of us have spoken fully yet about yesterday's events/@CalumMcSwiggan's attack & the aftermath, so please don't form opinions til then x— Melanie Murphy (@melaniietweets) June 29, 2016
I've been told to say nothing before court tomorrow but staying silent here is killing us. If you're a friend just DM me for the truth.— Calum McSwiggan (@CalumMcSwiggan) June 29, 2016