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October 05, 2015

Man says he was beaten by PSU fraternity member because he's gay

Police investigating incident after social media posts go viral

Investigations LGBT
Penn State Assault John Mateer/Twitter

John Mateer says he was beaten by a Penn State fraternity member because he was gay.

State College police are conducting an investigation after a man claimed on social media that he was assaulted by a member of a Penn State fraternity because he is gay. 

John Mateer took to Twitter on Saturday night into Sunday morning, saying that he was bleeding and posting a series of photos showing a beaten and bloody face and hand, writing "Don't let a frat guy know that you're gay," also saying the person who attacked him went after him because of his sexuality

He did not specify the fraternity of his alleged attacker.

Social media posts appear to indicate that Mateer is a student at a college in New York City.

On Sunday, Facebook user Matt Weyl re-posted the photos to Facebook, criticizing the university's accommodations for the LGBT community.

"I don't know a single gay student that at one time or another never felt unsafe over the course of their four years for being who they are, walking through those parts of State College after dark," Weyl wrote. 

Both Weyl and Mateer's posts were shared more than a thousand times on their respective social media platforms, prompting local police to look into the incident. 

Authorities would not confirm that the investigation was directly connected to the posts, but they do say it is related to claims made on social media. Mateer said on Twitter that he had filed a police report. 

Police say the incident may have occurred on North Burrows Road in State College and that the investigation is ongoing.