Interviewed by the Michigan Messenger Potter said she and her friends decided to head down to the beach to play in the lake. They were there for about 15 minutes, when the four men appeared at the top of the beach and began shouting anti-gay slurs at the women. The men threatened to attack the women.
"My friend got nervous about it because she is conservative. She wanted to go to the lobby to complain," Potter said.
In order to get to the hotel lobby, the women had two choices, walk back up the beach and through the bar-passing the men-or to walk all the way around the building and to enter the lobby from the front of the building.
They chose the first route. As they were passing the men, Potter said they again hurled anti-gay slurs at them.
Potter said she faced them off. "I was like `What is your issue? We bought you drinks and you were pretty cool.'"
Potter said one of the men attacked her.
"I swear he looked like I killed his mother. He jumped up and got in my face," said Potter.
"You wish you were as hot as my wife," Potter said the assailant said to her and then he "grabbed me by my throat. It felt like an hour, but it was less than 5 minutes. I had his hand print around my throat. It just went away recently. "
The two fell to the ground, and the bartender and Potter's friend helped to pull the man off of her. Potter said she asked for the police to be called. The assistant manager, who Potter identified as Richard Webber, was called. She said Webber took her and her friend into the main restaurant and asked if the assailant was there.
Potter said he wasn't. Webber disappeared again, Potter said, assuring the women the police had been called.
Potter and her friends waited for the police to respond for about 45 minutes.
Finally, one of her friends went back up to the hotel room and got her cell phone and called the police. When officers arrive, Potter said, they explained the cell phone call was the first one they had received.
Potter filed a police report and a picture was taken of the bruises on her neck which were the result of the choking. She said officers were able to locate the suspect in a nearby bar, but no arrest was made.
The following morning, Potter said she saw the assailant in the hotel, and complained to management.
Pope said the Potter told her she spoke to a woman who identified herself as the owner or the owner's wife. The victim told Triangle her complaint was greeted with a claim the man was a paying customer just as she was, and if she felt unsafe she should leave.
East Tawas Police Chief Dennis Frank confirmed no arrest was made that night. "It is not a general practice to arrest a person in such a case, unless there is an immediate threat to the safety of the victim or of a chance the assaultive behavior would continue."
Frank said the case is still under investigation, but declined to identify the suspect. Asked if the situation was a hate crime, he responded, "There are some issues here that lend themselves to this being a hate crime."
In response to all this, Angie and the Triangle Foundation are holding a protest at the Tawas Bay Beach Resort, 300 E. Bay Street in East Tawas, from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. demanding that the hotel issue Angie a public apology and that they refund her money.
The Triangle Foundation is a statewide LBGT organization that monitors and reports on hate crimes in Michigan.
The following is from QueerTy.
Anti-Gay Attack At Michigan Resort
Michigan’s Tawas Bay Beach Resort’s about to see an influx of homos - and they won’t be gay. A former guest named Angela Potter alleges another guest attacked her during her stay. In the course of the attack, says Potter, who’s a lesbian, the man hurled some homophobic epithets.
Hoping to see the man in the clink, Potter asked the Resort to call the police. Staffers told her they had done so, but, in fact, had not. When Potter pressed the issue, staffers asked her to leave.
Now, Potter and Michigan’s Triangle Foundation are planning a good old fashion protest. On Saturday, Septemeber 22, from 11am-3pm, Potter and other activists will storm the Resort’s lobby looking for justice.
Potter says she’s not only acting to help herself, but raise awareness of anti-gay sentiments and inaction:
I’m doing it because I want other people to know that it’s still possible in Michigan to be physically attacked just because you’re a lesbian. And sadly it’s still possible for the people who are responsible for protecting us to ignore their responsibility.
Speaking of responsibility: coppers are finally on the case and treating it as a hate crime.