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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

"I'm just not going to stand by and watch my friends and pretty much family get degraded its just not right,"


"Courageous" is the only word we can think of in describing Omaha resident Ryan Langenegger. Ryan was attacked earlier this week outside of a restaurant while standing up for his two friends who are #gay.

Ryan and his friends Josh and Jacob were eating when the harassment began. Jacob was dressed in drag and three men began to verbally abuse them. Ryan and his two friends decided to leave in the hopes of avoiding an altercation, but the men followed them out of the restaurant and continued their insults, even blocking them from leaving.

"I didn't know if they were going to try to hurt them...I stepped in and said, 'Hey we aren't looking for any trouble,'" says Ryan, "As I'm talking...one comes up and hits me in the face. I stand up and he also swings at my other friend and misses and I just look at him and say, 'Why?' There's no reason for this."

Ryan suffered bruises, chipped teeth and gash to his forehead, but says it was worth it to stand up for his friends. "I'm just not going to stand by and watch my friends and pretty much family get degraded its just not right," he added.

We applaud Ryan for defending his friends' rights to be who they are. Not everyone may support #gayrights, but we can all agree no one has the right to harm someone for what they believe in!

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An Omaha man told WOWT 6 News he is recovering Monday after being attacked in the Old Market Saturday night. Ryan Langenegger said he was punched after sticking up for his friends, who were being harassed for being gay.

Langenegger said he and his two friends, Josh Foo and Jacob Gellinger, were eating at Pepperjax Grill in the Old Market around 2 a.m. when the harassment began. Jacob was dressed in drag.

"We were eating and there was three guys watching us and one of them stepped up and was a foot or two away from my friend {Gellinger} and he just kept saying should I should I?" Langenegger explained.

Gellinger said eventually he told the men, "I know I'm a boy in a dress." Kellenegger said the men then told Gellinger, "Yeah, you're disgusting and more colorful language and insisted on using more derogatory remarks toward my two friends."

That's when the three friends decided to leave the restaurant, but according to Langenegger, the men followed them outside and eventually cut them off, preventing them from getting to their car and leaving.

"I stepped in and said, 'Hey we aren’t looking for any trouble,' and as I’m talking to him one of his friends from the corner of my eye comes up and hits me in the face. I stand up and he also swings at my other friend and misses and I just look at him and say, 'Why?' There's no reason for this."

The friends say they are upset because they were minding their own business and didn't do anything to provoke the fight.

Langenegger suffered bruising on the face, two chipped teeth, and a giant gash on his forehead. He says taking the punch was worth it to stick up for his friends.

"I see this happen all the time with my friends and it’s really sickening. It’s 2013, we live in Omaha, a lot of people don’t realize that this stuff is going on and it's just not right, and I'm just not going to stand by and watch my friends and pretty much family get degraded its just not right," he told WOWT 6 News.

Foo said, "What he did for standing up that meant so much to me." Gellinger also thanked Kellenegger, "He got in the way otherwise it would have been us."

The friends said they hope to get surveillance footage from the Pepperjax and the attackers credit card information that he likely used inside the restaurant to track him down. They hope charges will be pressed against them.


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