Mo. Teen Charged With Leading Neighborhood Assault on Lesbian
A teenager from Cape Girardeau, Mo., will be tried as an adult in the beating of a lesbian last month. Officials are calling the case a hate crime, the River Front Times reported.
Cape Girardeau is 115 miles southeast of St. Louis and 175 miles north of Memphis. Despite being a college town, it is considered one of the most conservative cities in the Show Me state, and is (probably not coincidentally), the hometown of Rush Limbaugh.
Mercedes Ayers, 17, harassed her neighbors Jeana Terry, 41, and her partner, Lisa Lange, for weeks and called them "dykes" and "yaps." UrbanDictionary.com defines "yap" as "to steal from or to rob somebody; a stupid or loud person; an acronym for Young Asian Professional."
At one point, Ayers allegedly yelled to the women, "I'll be back you want some of this black pussy!"
In late July, Ayers saw Terry sitting near a window in her home and yelled that she was going to get her brother to "beat her ass." Ayers later than allegedly went to Terry's home and grabbed her and pulled her outside onto her porch. The authorities claim she punched Terry who did not fight back. Other neighborhood juveniles also took turns beating Terry.
"Once I was down, it was pure chaos," Terry said, according to the Associated Press.
AP reported that Ayers brought her 13-year-old sister and 11-year-old brother to join in on the attack. Lange called 911 then tried to help remove Terry from the fight.
"They were kicking, stomping and beating the hell out of her," neighbor Mima Poole said.
But Ayers' mother told local media that the couple started the fight.
"My oldest daughter was outside on her phone with a friend, and they (Terry and Lange) heard her say something about 'gay,'" the mother said, "then they started yelling at her."
Terry suffered a black eye and several bruises and cuts. Police reports note that the teen fled from the scene but was quickly apprehended by police.
Ayers is charged with first-degree burglary and assault as a hate crime base on sexual orientation. Her bond has been sat at $10,000.