Lowndes Co. man hospitalized after hate crime

Lowndes Co. man hospitalized after hate crime
Octaveous Merritt
Octaveous Merritt
Merritt sometimes dresses as a woman and goes by the name Livian
Merritt sometimes dresses as a woman and goes by the name Livian

LOWNDES CO., GA (WALB) - A Lowndes County man says he was brutally attacked while he was dressed as a woman. Octaveous "Livian" Merritt says he planned to enjoy a quiet night hanging out with a friend, but ended up fearing for his life instead.

Merritt says three men attacked him, sending him to the hospital with serious injuries. He and his family want to make sure they get justice.

"I was just expecting to eat, and go have fun, you know, talk," said Merritt. "But it really turned out to be my worst nightmare."

Sunday night in Lowndes County, Merritt planned to hang out with a friend, Deion White.

Merritt says the night turned violent when two of White's friends showed up.

"Next thing I know I see a guy come from out of the back room with a gun, and he was like go to the room, said Merritt. "Once they realized who I was they began to beat me, and he let them."

Merritt is a 20-year-old man, but he sometimes dresses as a woman and goes by the name Livian.

Merritt says when White's friends realized he's a man, they started beating him. He ended up hospitalized with a broken eye socket, punctured lung and fractured jaw.

Merritt's stepfather is irate.

"Deion knew he was a guy, and at some point the other guys knew he was a guy," said father Travis Carter. "But y'all still wanted him, even knowing he's not a girl, to still preform sexual activities with you guys."

Merritt says at one point, one of White's friends pulled out a gun and forced him to perform a sex act.

"Because he didn't want to go any further, they beat him. Beat him really bad. Almost beat him to death," said Carter.

Lowndes County Sheriff's Office authorities say they are still investigating the incident, and more charges are possible.

"They just kept beating me, and I forgot how I got out the door," said Merritt.

So far, White is the only one arrested, and the only one charged with battery.

"I'm pretty sure the detective is good at what he does, he will piece it all together," said Carter.

White is free on bond as the investigation continues.

Friends of Merritt started a GoFundMe page to help raise money for his medical bills. You may find out how you can help by visiting here.

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