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New Hampshire AG 'actively working' with local police on probe into reported attack on gay couple

The New Hampshire attorney general’s office is “actively working” with local police to investigate an alleged attack on a gay couple in a city along the state’s eastern border with Maine.

“Our Civil Rights Unit is certainly aware of this incident and is actively working with the Somersworth Police Department and our law enforcement partners to look into it further,” Michael Garrity, a spokesperson with the attorney general’s office, said in a statement.

“Anyone who has information is encouraged to contact the Somersworth Police Department or the Attorney General’s Office,” he added.

William Poole, who owns a chocolate shop in Somersworth, N.H., with his husband, said on Facebook that they were assaulted by a group of juveniles who shouted homophobic taunts at them on Monday night. 

He alleged that the same group had attempted to break into their residence above the shop earlier this month and shouted slurs at them when confronted.

“I fear for my life and that of my partner, and I fear that our home and business with be further antagonized or damaged,” Poole said. “We will not reenter our home and business without police escort. I will defend myself and my home, and my partner’s life and our home.”

Given the additional incident just over a week earlier, Somersworth Police Captain Matthew Duval said in a press release that they are looking into whether the incidents “rise to the level of civil rights violations.”

The city’s mayor, Dana Hilliard, said in a Facebook post on Tuesday that Somersworth stands by the couple and “will do everything it can to help our fellow citizens and ensure that justice is brought against the assailants.”

“The ugly face of hate continues to raise its head in all 50 states and is gaining strength through the open assault on all minorities and members of the LGBTQ+ community, by elected officials who are validating actions of discrimination, hate, and assault through the narrative of intolerance they continue to spread,” Hilliard added.

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