Alleged Hate Attack Group Members Reportedly Claiming Self-Defense [UPDATED]

Meanwhile, Catholic high school releases statement decrying the incident.

See below for updates….

[Original] Multiple sources have tipped us off that the still-unidentified alleged assailants in last week’s attack at 16th and Chancellor streets are claiming self-defense. Caryn Kunkle, a source close to the victims who originally publicized the story, shared the following message on her Instagram feed:

Hate Crime update: the group of 15 genius kids who attacked two unarmed and non-PDA gay men on their way out for pizza on Sept. 11th at 10:45pm in the Rittenhouse area of Philadelphia are claiming “SELF DEFENSE.” Probably because the insanity defense was clearly unavailable….. Since when does collectively pounding someone’s face into the concrete while audibly and repeatedly shouting “dirty faggot” qualify 

I reached out to her to ask how the victims were taking this development, and she told me that “the District Attorney prepared the boys for that. It would be pretty much the only attempt at an excuse they could possibly try. However, it was very clear that the group asked if they were dating before the assault began, and they verbally assaulted them before and during the time they were beating them. I don’t think self defense will stick for long. Every witness refutes their claim.”

We reached out to the District Attorney’s Office and Philadelphia Police Department, but neither would verify Kunkle’s claim.

[Update, 9/18/2014], 12:01 p.m.] Gay bashing witness says, “I don’t see how it could be self-defense.”

[Update, 9/17/2014, 7:29 p.m.] NBC10 reports that Archbishop Wood Catholic High School has released a statement concerning reports former students were involved in the incident.

Earlier today, Archbishop Wood High School became aware that some of its former students were allegedly involved in the assault of two men in Center City last week. This afternoon, administrators communicated with the entire Archbishop Wood school community to make it emphatically clear that the school does not, under any circumstances, tolerate or condone the violent and hateful behavior displayed by those who took part in this senseless attack.

Administration also stressed that Catholic schools are centers of learning where students are expected to treat each other in a Christ-like manner at all times and that everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. The actions of those who took part in the attack are reprehensible and entirely unacceptable. They are not an accurate reflection of our Catholic values or of Archbishop Wood High School.