A gay couple in Atlanta is suffering from severe burns after a man threw boiling hot water on them while they were sleeping, two days before Valentine’s Day. Marquez Tolbert and his boyfriend, 21-year-old Anthony Gooden were attacked by Gooden’s mother’s boyfriend, 48-year-old Martin Blackwell. Tolbert spoke with local news station WSB-TV about the second and third-degree burns he walked away with on his neck, back and arms.
“The pain doesn’t let you sleep. It’s like, it’s excruciating, 24 hours a day. And it doesn’t go anywhere, it doesn’t dial down or anything. It’s just there,” he told the reporter in tears.
Blackwell reportedly questioned Tolbert and Gooden prior to the attack, inquiring about whether or not they were sexually active. He was not a permanent resident at Gooden’s home, but told the couple that he would not “put up” with their presence. After his arrest, Blackwell told authorities that he was disgusted by the couple’s relationship. “They’ll be alright. It was just a little hot water,” he said, according to police. Tolbert recalled Blackwell’s words to him after pouring the water on him.
“He kind of just pulled me up and was like ‘Get out of my house with all that gay s**t.’ And I couldn’t stop screaming,” he said.
Tolbert spent 10 days in the hospital after Blackwell’s attack, and had to undergo a surgery to have skin removed from his legs and put on his back. Gooden was released days ago. A GoFundMe page was started by a family friend to help the couple with their medical expenses:
I have watched Marquez’s mother suffer right along with him. When he came out to her, she told me that her son being harmed was her greatest fear. It’s a shame that our society places that kind on fear in a parent’s heart. It gives you a feeling of helplessness, and when it actually [sic] occurs, you lose hope. Marquez is home now, but has a long road to recovery. Through it all, he has remained strong and not disheartened by what has happened to him. I am so impressed by his character. He has been focused on healing, and in a way, has been holding up his mother.
Watch the news report on the terrifying story below: