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US news anchor could be left with permanent eye damage after suspected homophobic attack

Police have arrested a man after Matt Belanger was assaulted on his way to work last week.

2020-05-19

A US news anchor could be left with permanent eye damage after being assaulted in a suspected homophobic attack.

Matt Belanger, an Emmy-winning news anchor for 5 Eyewitness News in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was injured in an unprovoked attack on a train platform while on his way to work last week (12 May), City Pages reports.

In a video shared to Facebook, Belanger revealed he was struck by an object thrown from close-range by a man he did not know, causing internal bleeding to his eye.

He added that he while he expected to make a full recovery, doctors had warned him he was at risk of long-term damage to his vision.

Police have arrested a man in connection with the attack, and believe Belanger may have been targeted because of his perceived sexuality.

Vennie Williams, 39, is facing one count of third-degree assault with substantial bodily harm and another for harassment with intent to injure.

The maximum punishment of five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.