County Supervisor Peter Burgelis was subjected to a violent assault on June 12 in an unprovoked incident that occurred at Mayfair Mall.

While details surrounding the assault are still being investigated by law enforcement, it was confirmed that Supervisor Burgelis sustained significant injuries and received surgical care at Froedert Hospital. He is expected to make a full recovery.

“I will never be silenced, nor will I allow this act of violence to detract from our ongoing efforts to secure acceptance and equality for the LGBTQ+ community. If anything, this assault serves as a stark reminder of the pervasive challenges we continue to face,” said County Supervisor Burgelis in response to the attack. “The unfortunate truth is that threats and acts of violence against the LGBTQ+ community persist at an alarming rate. Nationally, LGBTQ+ people are nearly four times more likely than non-LGBTQ+ people to be victims of violent crime.”

Burgelis is the first openly LGBTQ+ member elected to the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors. He said that the attack reflected a broader pattern of discrimination and intolerance that currently plagues American society.

The suspect who sucker punched the County Supervisor in his face was overheard shouting the homophobic slur “take this f@gg#t” when he launched the attack.

The Milwaukee area has seen a concerning rise in such violent incidents, including the recent bomb threats directed at several Kohl’s stores due to their Pride displays.

“It is through resilience and unwavering determination that we must confront these injustices and strive for a future where all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, can live without fear of harm or prejudice,” added County Supervisor Burgelis.

Plans continue to honor and present citations of recognition to dozens of local LGBTQ+ individuals and community organizations at the June 22 meeting of the Milwaukee County Board.

The Pride Month 2023 program will also serve as a testament to the resilience and contributions of the LGBTQ+ community in Milwaukee County.

“Forward Latino condemns all forms of hate whether based on race, ethnicity, language, country of origin or orientation,” posted Darryl Morin, National President of Forward Latino, on social media. “We pray for the full recovery of County Supervisor Peter Burgelis and call for a thorough investigation of this attack.”

Supervisor Burgelis shared his gratitude for the outpouring of support he has received from family, constituents, colleagues, and community organizations in the aftermath of the assault. Their encouragement has reinforced his resolve to continue on with renewed determination.

Supervisor Burgelis also expressed his appreciation to the Wauwatosa Police Department and Froedert Hospital staff for their dedication and professionalism.

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Lee Matz