Milwaukee County’s first openly LGBTQ+ county supervisor says an assailant called him a gay slur and then punched him in the face this week at a suburban mall.
Supervisor Peter Burgelis was struck in the face while inside a store at the Mayfair Mall on Monday, news outlets reported, citing Wauwatosa police.
The attack happened after a dispute in the parking lot, police said Friday. Officers said the suspect left before they arrived at the scene but they have identified a person of interest.
Burgelis told WTMJ-TV that he went to a hospital after the attack and will have surgery on his jaw.
“I will never be silenced, nor will I allow this act of violence to detract from our ongoing efforts to secure acceptance and equality for the LGBTQ+ community,” Burgelis said in a written statement. “If anything, this assault serves as a stark reminder of the pervasive challenges we continue to face.”