WASHINGTON - A DC man has a reason to smile again after a terrifying assault incident along U Street last week.
Link had a broken nose, as well as several cuts and bruises and broken teeth from the April 16 attack, where three suspects shouted homophobic slurs as Link and his friend were attacked near a gay bar at 10th Street and U Street in Northwest D.C.
A DC dentist, Dr. Christopher Banks at Capital Cosmetic Dentistry heard Link's story and was able to help provide him with a new smile at no cost.
Link posted on Facebook expressing his sadness and shock over his broken teeth after the attack, but went on to thank the dentist who so generously fixed his teeth for free.
"All I did that night was cry about how my teeth had been broken. It has been a lot more difficult mentally to see and feel my damaged teeth than I wanted to admit. Dito was able to connect me with this outstanding man, Christopher Banks, who completely donated his time and talents to bring my smile back, even for continued follow-ups if something happens to them down the road. So, I just want to say that I am forever grateful for him and for the care he gave me at Capital Cosmetic Dentistry."
Dr. Banks, who himself is a member of the LGBTQ community, said he was saddened by what happened to Zach and was happy to help.
In a statement, Capital Cosmetic Dentistry said:
"While Dr. Banks certainly did not render his services for the benefit of himself or CCD, we certainly appreciate the recognition.
When Dr. Banks was contacted by Dito Sevilla regarding the hateful crime Zach Link suffered, his response was immediate: he wanted to help. Chris reached out to Zach and expressed that he 'would love to help' and render assistance. As a dentist who prides himself on the art of his cosmetic dentistry AND as a member of the LGBTQ community, Dr. Banks met with Zach and proceeded to restore his smile. Zach came in with remarkable and visible damage to several of his front teeth, the result of severe and aggressive punching and kicking to his face. Zach came into the office and after a few hours walked out of with a restored smile.
As a parting personal note, Dr. Banks wants it to be known: 'this community is beautiful in its resilience and desire to support each other. In a day and age wherein we shake our heads and proclaim hate and violence toward the LGBTQ community is senseless and barbaric, we all know it still happens and all we can do is try to help each other pick up the pieces in the aftermath. Without knowing the depth, breadth and expense of Zach's injuries, I reached out and offered full care because we are all members of a powerful loving LGBTQ community before anything else. It is through these acts of love in the face of hate that we will persist, thrive, and succeed in showing the world we want to be 'one'."