BY Jack Davis, The Western JournalJune 24, 2023
1 year ago
 | June 24, 2023
1 year ago

Hoax? Gay Man's Viral Claim He Was Set on Fire in 'Hate-Filled' Attack Seemingly Just Went Up in Smoke

In what appears to be a re-telling of the Jussie Smollett tale, a man in San Diego who claimed he was set on fire because he is gay is being portrayed by police as the instigator of the situation, which began with an alleged assault of a pregnant woman.

On Monday, Scott Rowin, 39, told KGTV-TV he was assaulted days earlier while going for a walk.

In an interview, Rowin said a man in his 20s or 30s was one of two men yelling gay slurs, and that a liquid then was thrown on him.

“Immediately after that, I went up like coals on a barbecue. It started off really big,” Rowin said, adding that he used the “stop, drop and roll” technique to put out the flames.

“Just in survival mode. Just in the zone, I have to save my life,” he said, per KGTV.

Rowin said he suffered second-degree burns, primarily on his side and back. He said he doesn't know if he'll need surgery.

“This is absolutely a hate crime. The slurs were hate-filled,” he said, suggesting that whoever attacked him was looking for a victim.

“Nobody walks around with flammable liquid like without an agenda. In my opinion, they were obliviously out there targeting the LGBT community.

“This can still happen in 2023. There are still a lot of haters out there. I don't want this to happen to anyone else.

"This time it was fire. What will it be next time?”

But on Wednesday, San Diego police offered a different set of details, saying that video evidence shows that before being set on fire, a man assaulted a pregnant woman, according to KGTV.

Police said the assault took place just after 10:40 p.m. on June 12, the day Rowin claims he was attacked.

“Officers were dispatched and arrived within minutes, but the suspect had already fled the scene,” police said, referring to the pregnant woman's attacker.

The department said the woman was injured and bleeding when officers arrived. She was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Then came the report of the man being set on fire.

“Investigators determined that this man was the suspect who battered the pregnant woman from the earlier incident at 900 6th Avenue,” police said.

“Investigators have since determined the pregnant female was responsible for the burn injuries.”

Police said security footage shows the “initial physical assault by the man on the pregnant woman and the subsequent use of fire as a weapon by the pregnant woman on the man.”

The department withheld further details.

“This is a complex investigation, and detectives are examining all aspects and allegations. The San Diego Police Department takes all crimes of violence extremely seriously. We recognize the community’s interest in this case and are working to balance transparency with protecting the active criminal investigations,” police said, according to KGTV.

No charges have been filed.

In March of last year, a judge in Chicago sentenced Smollett -- a black, gay actor -- to 150 days behind bars for staging a hate crime against himself to grab the spotlight while the nation struggled with racial-injustice issues, according to The Associated Press.

Smollett claimed he had been targeted in a racist and homophobic attack.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Jack Davis, The Western Journal



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