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Posted: 4/19/2007 4:10:45 AM EDT

Claims '06 Incident Was Hate Crime Against Straight Man

CBS/AP) NEW YORK A man who was beaten and stabbed after a street fight with seven avowed lesbians testified Wednesday that he thought he was going to die after they jumped him last year.

"I remember being surrounded, my hands up in my face," Dwayne Buckle testified at the trial of four of the women. "I went up into a defensive position. I felt a nick in my abdomen. I had my two hands in front of my face."

He said he didn't realize he had been stabbed.

"Somebody told me I was stabbed," he said. "As soon as he said that, I felt it. I lay down on my knapsack. I was hollering and screaming. I felt like I was going to die."

Buckle, 29, said he was in a hospital for five days and in bed at his Queens home for a month after undergoing surgery for a lacerated liver and stomach. He said he also suffered cuts, bruises, scratches and an eye injury in the attack.

Buckle, who has called the incident "a hate crime against a straight man," was testifying in Manhattan's state Supreme Court at the trial of Patreese Johnson, 20, Renata Hill, 25, Venice Brown, 19, and Terrain Dandridge, 20, all of Newark, N.J.

The defendants are charged with first- and second-degree assault and gang assault. Johnson, accused of stabbing Buckle, also is charged with second-degree attempted murder. All have pleaded not guilty.

Three of the seven women pleaded guilty to assault charges in exchange for sentences of six months in jail and five years probation.

Buckle, a movie audio-video engineer and an independent filmmaker, said the fight started outside the Independent Film Center in lower Manhattan, where he was trying to sell videos he had made. He said that as the women walked by, he spoke to one of them because he found her attractive.

Buckle said a heavyset woman in the group said something rude.

"She just started dogging me out, being loud and disrespectful," he said. "I think I called her an elephant and told her I wasn't talking to her."

Buckle said she spoke disparagingly of his looks and clothing, saying he was wearing cheap sneakers. Meanwhile, another woman spat on him and he spat back.

The women surrounded and attacked Buckle, he said. After a few minutes, he said, the fight subsided and he began picking up his DVDs from the sidewalk.

"Someone attacked me from behind," Buckle said. "One girl called for some guys to come beat me up. A guy got me on the floor (sidewalk), and I was jumped again."

Assistant District Attorney Sharon Laveson told the jury in opening statements that surveillance video will show that Johnson pulled a steak knife from her purse and stabbed Buckle with it.

Johnson admits she slashed Buckle with a knife but says she did it in self-defense, according to papers filed by prosecutors at her arraignment. Johnson's statement says she pulled out her knife after Buckle grabbed her arm and spat on one of her friends.

"As I got my knife, Renata hit him for spitting," Johnson's statement says. "Then everyone jumped in because he is a man. Then some young men had helped us. After that we walked away. I admit I did cut him one time for my own safety."
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