"Hate Crime" victim admits he made it all up after police receive video
A 22-year-old Montana man who told cops he was beaten up by gay-bashing
thugs while club-hopping on his birthday — igniting calls online for
protest against homophobic violence — made the whole thing up and
actually injured himself, he admitted. Joseph Baken, of Billings,
suffered the bruises and cuts to his face when he smashed it against a
curb while attempting to stick an Olympic-style backflip in the street,
The young con-artist
pleaded guilty to making a false report on Tuesday and was given a 180
day suspended jail sentence and slapped with a $300 fine, the Missoula
Independent reported. Baken's bizarre ruse began when he told Missoula police that three
men jumped him outside a club in downtown Missoula early Sunday because
he was gay. Baken said he had gone into the club, announced that it was his birthday and asked if anyone knew a gay bar he could go to.
via Facebook/© Facebook Photos of Baken's injuries appeared online, sparking outrage over homophobic violence.
A man invited him outside for a cigarette, and he and two other attacked him, Baken claimed, according to NBC Montana.
Photos of Baken's battered face were posted on Facebook, Tumblr and
other social media sites, prompting an outcry against homophobic
violence and calls for protest. However, a tipster sent a video
to the Independent that showed Baker trying to impress his pals by doing
a backflip off a curb sometime around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday. Baker flubbed the stunt and landed on his face.
The newspaper passed the video on to police, and Baken quickly copped to lying about getting jumped.
Missoula police said they decided to file charges in-part because Baken's story caused so much outrage.
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