In a case that attracted national attention in 2012, an Appalachian State University student and another woman alleged they were assaulted in Boone because of their perceived sexual orientation.
The victims did not know their attacker.
A change.org petition outlined what they alleged happened at a Cook Out restaurant shortly after midnight on Feb. 11, 2012. Neither Sarah Nordstrom nor Erin Johnston, then a junior at ASU, could be reached for comment for this story.
They said two women and a man verbally harassed them then followed them home. There, the man repeatedly punched Nordstrom in the face. Johnson turned away to call police, they said, and the man attacked her from behind, knocking her to the ground, kicking and stomping her face and body.
Nordstrom suffered a broken eye socket, a broken nasal cavity and broken cheekbone, according to the online petition. Johnston suffered two fractured ribs, a torn meniscus on the left side of her jaw and torn cartilage in her nose.
Ketoine Jamahl Mitchell was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault while inflicting serious injury, aggravated assault on a female and larceny. Brooklyn Lacrossa Canter was charged with misdemeanor aiding and abetting. No federal charges were filed.
Sgt. Matt Sevens of the Boone Police Department said police considered the possibility that the assaults were hate crimes and concluded they weren’t. He said the FBI also investigated.
”It started out more as an argument that escalated into a fight,” Stevens said. He said his investigation showed that Nordstrom or Johnston first called out to Canter, “Hey Cutie” and she responded, “I ain’t into that.”
”It became a war of words,” Stevens said.
Mitchell was sentenced to 180 days in prison. The charge against Canter was dismissed.