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David Ritcheson
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Victim
    (circa 1989-July 1, 2007)
    Born in United States
    Resided in Spring, Texas
    Was severely tortured and injured during a party in a racially motivated attack (April 2006)
    Advocated for change in hate crime law specifications (April 17, 2007)
    Committed suicide by leaping off the Carnival cruise ship Ecstasy while on vacation (July 1, 2007)
    Before the attack, he had a history of drug abuse.
    The night he was attacked, he admitted to being under the influence of alcohol at the party which affected his behavior and judgment.
    He stated that he did not remember any specific details about the attack after it occurred.
    The FBI could not investigate the incident as a hate crime because the attack occurred at a private residence, not a public location.
    After the attack, he refused any psychological guidance or treatment and instead counseled with his family and friends.
    He found the public's knowledge and reaction to the attack difficult to handle.
    It was speculated that depression and stress which resulted from the attack may have influenced his suicidal behavior.
    Despite discussion of his suicide plans with friends on the cruise ship and a young passenger's report of the overheard conversation to her mother, no intervening action was taken.
    A Mexican- American, he was attacked by two racist young white men at the party after he kissed a young white woman.
    The details of the attack included severe punches, kicks to the head, 17 cigarette burns, bleach poured on him and an assault with a pipe while being called ethnic slurs.
    Physical recovery from his attack included hospitalization for over 3 months as well as more than 30 surgeries and post-surgical procedures.
    After being anonymous in early incident reports, he decided to be publicly identified to help raise awareness of certain circumstances regarding the attack.
    He testified before Congress to support a bill that would allow a hate crime charge to be made when applicable if the incident occurred on private property.
    He stated that changes in hate crime laws were needed due to the chances of incidents similar to his happening in the future.
    He stated that he was thankful for whatever physical and mental recovery he was able to make after the attack.
    He was popular and described as friendly and upbeat.
    His attackers were convicted and sentenced for their crimes.

Credit: Pr31wnb


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