LGBT advocate says man used gay slur, robbed him during Midtown march

Wilford Hardnett (Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office)

An LGBT advocate says a man snatched his phone, kicked him and threatened that he had a gun during a march in Midtown Atlanta on Saturday.

Charles Stadtlander was allegedly attacked as he marched near the intersection of Peachtree and 10th streets, according to a police report.

Charles Stadtlander (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

Wilford Hardnett, 21, is accused of attacking the advocate from his bicycle.

"(Hardnett) called me a gay slur and snatched my iPhone out of my hand," Stadtlander told Channel 2 Action News.

After witnesses watched what was happening, Stadtlander grabbed Hardnett and tried to stop him from riding off, the report states. That’s when Hardnett reached into his waistband and acted like he had a weapon.

“He told all of us that he had a Glock and told us he was going to kill all of us and used gay slurs,” Stadtlander said.

Because he thought the 21-year-old had a gun, Stadtlander let him go. Hardnett kicked him and threw his phone to the ground, the report states.

While police were taking Stadtlander’s report, Hardnett rode up at a nearby MARTA station. He was arrested after telling officers he threw the phone because an advocate struck him with a sign.

Stadtlander, who is a candidate for the Atlanta school board, told the news station he hopes this incident is a wakeup call for the community.

"I believe the system let him down, but I also believe that the system created this environment and I think that's where we need to start," Stadtlander said.

Hardnett is facing aggravated assault and robbery charges. Georgia does not have a hate crime law.

In other news:

Channel 2 has learned new information about an officer seen on video beating a DeKalb County woman with a baton. The officer says the woman was resisting arrest.

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