Calum McSwiggan first reported being attacked at an LA club on Sunday evening. Since then, we’ve heard accounts of a homophobic attack, vandalism and even self harm. Despite the fact that the case recently went to court, we still aren’t entirely clear as to what defiantly happened but we do know that on Wednesday 29th June, Calum was charged with filing a false police report.
Despite being advised not to speak until yesterday’s court appearance, Calum and friends took to social media to explain their side of the story. According to Calum, he was the victim of a homophobic attack which led to him being admitted to hospital with broken teeth. It later transpired that Calum was arrested for vandalism with various reports circulating on social media in regards to his injuries, the vandalism he committed and how intoxicated he was.
What we do know is that Calum was arrested on the night of his apparent attack; he was charged with vandalism of a car and placed in a cell alone. In a mug shot, McSwiggan has no injuries but is clearly injured in a selfie he posted on social media after his arrest.
Now, after the case has been heard in court, Calum has revealed his side of the story in a lengthy social media post. In the statement, Calum claims he left the club with a male who then attacked him in a car park and punched him in the face. “In a moment of devastation, anger and blind rage I kicked the wing mirror of the attacker’s car until it broke and then ripped it off with my hands. I also scratched the front of the car with the broken wing mirror before returning back to The Abbey for help.”
Calum was then arrested by police for vandalising the car. When at the station, police refused to take him to hospital to treat his injuries so he used the payphone in order to self harm in a desperate need to be admitted to hospital.
We’ve added the full statement to the bottom of this article due to its length but please scroll down if you’d like to read it. Calum’s friends, including Melanie Murphy, have shared their side of the story and back up his claims:
Calum’s court appearance wasn’t without drama, however. As he states, there was no record of his case on file and he was hoping for the issue to be resolved. What we do know, however, is that Calum has been charged by LA Police with “filing a false police report”.
We hope Calum recovers from his injuries soon and that justice is served.
Here’s Calum’s full statement. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
“The truth and full story of the events on June 26th.
On Sunday June 26th I went out to The Abbey, a gay club, in West Hollywood with my friends and fellow YouTubers Riyadh Khalaf, Melanie Murphy and Doug Armstrong. We were on a high from having an amazing time at VidCon and celebrating the end of it with one last night out. We had two or three drinks and were feeling very happy. We were mingling and talking with other people and I found a guy I took a liking to. I began flirting with him and left The Abbey with him. I believe we were accompanied by two of his friends but my memory is hazy with this.
I walked with him to a dark car park no more than five minutes away where, if they weren’t already with us, we were joined by two of his friends by his car. I know the car belonged to him because at one point he opened the door – I believe he was retrieving something from the glove box but I can’t be sure.
After this I was talking to them, I don’t remember about what specifically, but at some point in that conversation his tone and attitude flipped. He said something about my friend Melanie and then punched me in the mouth. I blacked out quickly after this but remember being kicked in the body multiple times, I believe by all three men.
Shortly afterwards I regained consciousness and instantly realised one of my front teeth was broken. I have spent my whole adult life campaigning for LGBT+ equality and did not take this attack lightly. I can not say for 100% that this was because I was gay but I can’t think of any other justification for this random attack. In a moment of devastation, anger and blind rage I kicked the wing mirror of the attacker’s car until it broke and then ripped it off with my hands. I also scratched the front of the car with the broken wing mirror before returning back to The Abbey for help.
I approached the first people I found, two girls, and told them what had happened. I was hysterical and just wanted help. They comforted me but weren’t sure how to help so I called my friend Riyadh. I explained what had happened, in full, and there should be a record of this phone call. He told me to meet him outside the abbey entrance where I found them and collapsed on the ground in tears while they comforted me. I asked them to call the police and Riyadh did immediately. There should also be a record of this phone call. The police arrived in less than five minutes and were very helpful at this time. They allowed me some time and space to calm down before talking to me and getting my story. I told them everything and told them I vandalised the vehicle. I showed them the wing mirror which I still had with me. I believe this was kept by The Abbey staff security. I did not think that under the circumstances that I would be treated as a criminal and I suggested bringing the police to the vehicle so that they could take the registration and find the owner to prosecute him.
I got in the police car with my friend Doug who was comforting me and Melanie and Riyadh followed behind. We found the vehicle immediately and after speaking on their phones and radios for a few minutes the police asked me again if it was me who damaged the car. I again confirmed that I had done it and the female police officer said, “I’m sorry, but I have no choice but to do this,” and reached for her handcuffs. I said I understood and immediately put my hands behind my back so that she could handcuff me and put me in the back of the vehicle. They then confiscated my belongings and wouldn’t let me talk to my friends any longer. I asked the female police officer to come and talk to me, and she did, where I explained again what had happened and asked why I was being treated as the criminal. She apologised but said that she did not believe I had been attacked due to the lack of physical injuries on my face. This caused me to break down again and they allowed my friend Doug to comfort me briefly before I was taken away to the police station.
At the station I was put into a holding cell where I asked to speak to a medical professional, a councillor, my parents, my friends, a lawyer, for a phone call, or to be transferred to a hospital but they wouldn’t let me.
I was understandably shaken, upset, and terrified. I kept asking what was going to happen to me and what was going on but nobody would tell me. I was in tears and visibly shaking and clearly in need of support but was given none.
My father eventually called the station and I could hear them speaking to him on the phone. I pleaded with them to let me speak with him but they wouldn’t allow me to. They were asking him to pay $20,000 to release me otherwise I’d have to stay in jail until my court case. I did not understand this was bail or how bail worked and I freaked out. I knew he would pay it and couldn’t allow him to do that. In a moment of desperation to get out of the cell, I took the pay phone off the wall and hit myself once across the forehead with it as hard as I could. I knew I had to injure myself to get out of the cell and into a hospital, and it was the only solution I could find to get myself out of there. This is incredibly out of character for me and is testament to how upset I was in that moment. I do not regret doing this as I could still be in the jail cell if I didn’t.
I blacked out again and woke up in a pool of my own blood with paramedics helping me onto a stretcher. The female officer I had spoke to earlier was there and I said “I don’t like you,” because I hoped she would have been the one to help me or give me support. I could tell she felt sympathetic but was unable to help. I didn’t see her again after that.
From there I was put into an ambulance and taken to hospital. There I was assigned a psychiatrist who was wonderfully kind and supportive. I told him the story and he was both sympathetic and understanding. I could tell that he believed me. I told him that I only hurt myself to get out of the jail cell and he confirmed that he thought that under the circumstances it was the best thing I could have done. I wish I knew his name because he was the person that stopped me losing it altogether in a crisis.
I was given stitches and had my body examined and my injuries photographed. I was later allowed to be released but given paperwork to appear in court at 8:30am on June 29th.
I left the hospital and got into a cab to the hotel where me and my friends were staying. They took me for breakfast to help me calm down and when I tried to eat I felt a terrible pain in my mouth and realised two more of my teeth were broken.
We wrote down this whole story and emailed it to a friend of ours who is a lawyer. We have this email dated and time stamped. We were advised to say nothing about the arrest or the police on social media until after the court case. Several of my followers reached out as they were worried after seeing snapchats from Riyadh and Melanie of the night’s events. I decided to post on Instagram to tell them that I’d been attacked, that I was okay, and that I would give the full story as soon as I could.
I attended court this morning, June 29th, but there was no record of my case on file. We’re going back later to try and resolve this fully.
I’m heartbroken about the events and these have been the worst few days of my life. Many people are trying to discredit my story but this is the full and entire truth. Just because there were no visible marks on my face does not mean I was not attacked. Being accused of being a liar and being called a disgrace to the LGBT+ community, a community I’ve dedicated my life to, is more painful than any hate crime could ever be.
I do not blame the individual police officers for what happened. They were just doing their jobs. I believe they genuinely believed I had not been attacked. I find it shocking, however, that there is not a system in place to protect victims. Victims should be given the benefit of the doubt and allowed immediate medical advice and council in a crisis.
The injuries sustained from the attack were as follows:
– Three broken teeth
– Cut and bruise on my collar bone (visible in the mug shot)
– Bruising to my left arm and shoulder, barely visible, but unable to raise arm fully
– Bruising on my right wrist
– Minor scrapes on body
The injuries sustained in the holding cell:
– One wound to the forehead which required six stitches
Thank you for those that believed me from the start. Your support has been the only thing that has gotten me and my friends through this nightmare of a situation. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”