Man: Mummers punched me, used gay slur

A 28-year-old gay man who was walking his dog with friends in Center City on Friday said he was attacked by a group of drunk Mummers who punched him in the face and called him a “f----t.”

John Holtz, of Philadelphia, said he and two of his friends were on Rodman Street near Broad about 2 p.m. taking his parents’ dog for a walk. The group noticed four or five men in full Mummers gear who were wearing patriotic colors and face paint. Holtz said some of the Mummers were urinating in the alley and all of them were “very intoxicated.”

Holtz
John Holtz, who has lived in Philadelphia for five years.

At first, the Mummers were friendly with Holtz’s dog, but things turned tense quickly, he said.

“One guy kept saying, ‘Your dog is too good for you. Your dog is a little bitch. You’re a f----t,’” Holtz said. “He was digging at me.”

Holtz said he calmly walked over to the man to ask him to “cool it” and as he did so, another guy in the group of Mummers “clocked” him in the face.

A short brawl then broke out between Holtz and his friends and the group of Mummers. After the fight, the Mummers ran away into the crowd, Holtz said.

A group of nearby police officers approached Holtz and asked if he’d like to file a report, but he declined. Holtz said it would have been nearly impossible to identify the men, given their face makeup and costumes. On top of that, Holtz said he had two friends in from out of town and he did not want them to spend their trip to Philadelphia at a police station.

“I’m just going to ice it, that’s the best option I have unless I want to sit in a police station for two hours,” Holtz said. “And what could I gain out of reporting it? I’m just going to lose more time out of my life.”

Holtz said his friends urged him to come forward and tell his story.

“It was not a fun event and it makes me a little concerned about what this actually brings to the city,” he said. “It’s positive in certain aspects but it lets some people run wild and free from the law and acceptable social norms.”

Now Holtz, a chemist, wonders what he’ll say to his coworkers when they ask him about his black eye on Monday morning.

“It’s going to be very awkward when I have to go into work Monday and tell the story,” he said.

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