Archive for the ‘Hate Crimes’ Category

Woman Uses Produce To Assault Gay Couple

April 16, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO – A woman accused of targeting a gay couple with a selection of produce in Pacifica in March was arraigned Friday in a South San Francisco courtroom, the San Mateo County district attorney’s office reported.
Tiffany Adler, 20, is accused of heaving an assortment of apples and asparagus at the couple from the interior of a van driving past them as they walked down a city street, according to the district attorney’s office.
Adler also allegedly yelled a slur at the victims, the district attorney’s office reported.
Both victims were struck by the fruits and vegetables, and police investigating the incident reportedly discovered a piece of asparagus in Adler’s purse, according to the district attorney’s office.
On Friday, Adler pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor hate crime and battery charges.
A jury trial is scheduled to begin July 2.
Adler remains out of custody on her own recognizance, the district attorney’s office reported.
from CBS 5

Hate Crime Against A Straight Man

April 13, 2007

NEW JERSEY – 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.”
from WCBS TV

gay shopping

Matthew Shepard’s Name Added Hate Crimes Bill

April 13, 2007

Matthew Shepard
WASHINGTON – Supporters of hate-crimes legislation said Thursday they expect Congress to enact a law this year expanding federal penalties for acts of violence against homosexuals.
They have renamed their latest proposal in honor of Matthew Shepard, the gay college student who died after he was beaten and tied to a fence in Wyoming in 1998.
Lawmakers from both parties have pushed for a hate-crimes bill for nearly a decade. This year, however, supporters expect it will make it to President Bush partly because they consider Congress’ new Democratic majority more sympathetic than its previous GOP leaders.
By putting Shepard’s name on the bill, “I believe we’ll be more successful,” said Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., who is co-sponsoring the bill with Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.
The measure would add protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity to existing laws that target violence because of race and religion.
“I can’t think of a better way to honor Matthew’s memory. He was a 21-year-old college student just living his life,” said Shepard’s mother Judy Shepard, who now heads a foundation in her son’s name.
Asked about potential opposition from religious groups that disagree with homosexuality, Smith said that should not be a problem.
“This act is about the prosecution of crime, not prohibition of speech,” Smith said. “Unless they believe part of their religion is the practice of violence against others, they should not be affected by this bill.”
Various versions of the hate crimes bill have passed the House or Senate in recent years, but have never reached the president.
from The Associated Press

Kevin Aviance’s Attackers Plead Guilty

March 22, 2007

Kevin Aviance

NEW YORK – Four people who were accused of brutally beating a nightclub singer and recording artist while yelling anti-gay slurs pleaded guilty Wednesday to assault charges.The four began following Kevin Aviance around 1:30 a.m. on June 10, 2006 after he left a gay bar in the city’s East Village neighborhood, calling him derogatory names, police said.They threw two garbage bags and a paint can at the singer before attacking him and yelling anti-gay slurs, police said.The defendants punched and kicked Aviance, 39, breaking his jaw and causing other injuries, police said. Passers-by yelled for the attack to stop, and when it was over a man walked Aviance to a hospital.Mayor Michael Bloomberg denounced the attack as “a disgrace.”The four will be sentenced in April and May. In exchange for their guilty pleas Gerard Johnson, 17, will be sentenced to 15 years in prison; Akino George and Jarell Sears, both 21, will get eight-year prison terms; and Gregory Archie, 19, receive a six-year sentence.They had faced up to 25 years in prison if they had been convicted of the top count, first-degree assault as a hate crime. Designating an offense a hate crime increases the sentence the judge is allowed to impose.Aviance, who performs in drag, appeared on the Billboard dance music charts in 2002 and 2004 with his songs “Give It Up” and “Alive.”
from The Associated Press

2 Men Charged With Hate Crime In Florida Slaying

March 19, 2007

Bearden & Brown
FLORIDA – The two men charged in the fatal stabbing of a gay Winter Haven man that has been called a hate crime were ordered held without bail at their first appearance in a Bartow courtroom Sunday morning.
The men remained in the Bartow jail, and their first appearance was broadcast on a video screen in the Bartow courthouse.
Both men, clad in orange jumpsuits, stood silently as Circuit Judge John F. Laurent appointed a public defender for William David Brown Jr., 20, and Joseph Bearden, 21.
However, assistant public defender Deborah Goins asked the judge to schedule a status conference for Joseph Bearden on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. so she can withdraw from his case. The Public Defenders Office generally assigns a private lawyer when there are co-defendants in a case to avoid a potential conflict of interest.
Brown and Bearden are charged with first-degree murder and armed robbery in the death of Ryan Keith Skipper, 25. Skipper’s body was found on the side of Morgan Road near 19th Street West in Wahneta early Wednesday. He had been stabbed about 20 times.
Police said Skipper was driving through Eloise on Tuesday night looking to pick someone up, which was how he met Bearden.
However, longtime friends of his said Sunday night that Skipper was popular, never having to go out of his way to meet people and did not pick up hitchhikers.
After meeting, according to investigators, the two returned to Skipper’s home and smoked marijuana while discussing using Skipper’s laptop for check fraud.
Skipper’s roommate said he did not own a laptop, and that he has stayed away from drugs since his arrests for marijuana possession in 1999 and 2001.
The two then drove to a home owned by Brown’s uncle. In his statement to investigators, Bearden said it was then that Brown and another man decided to rob Skipper. Brown and the man asked Skipper for a ride, and he eventually agreed, according to Bearden’s arrest report.
Brown and the man returned about 15 minutes later without Skipper and “covered in blood,” Bearden told police.
However, after conducting several interviews with the suspects and witnesses, the Sheriff’s Office charged Brown and Bearden in Skipper’s death Friday.
Skipper’s car, a 2007 Chevrolet Aveo, and a laptop were stolen, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Bearden and Brown tried to clean out the car, which was bloody from the attack, and sell it but they later abandoned it on a dock at Lake Pansy in Winter Haven on Wednesday and tried to set it on fire, the report stated.
The fire only did minor damage, and detectives recovered fingerprints from the vehicle from both suspects.
The case was being investigated as a robbery homicide until a witness told investigators Friday that Brown said Skipper had made advances toward him, and that is why he was killed.
Both men are scheduled to be arraigned April 17.
from The Ledger

Marine Ordered To Trial In Gay Man’s Strangulation

January 13, 2007

SAN DIEGO – A 20-year-old Marine accused of strangling a Little Italy man and stuffing his body under a sink was ordered yesterday to stand trial on murder charges in what prosecutors are calling a hate crime.
James Alexander Hardy of New Mexico was arrested Feb. 11 after he was detained by military police at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot. He had recently finished basic training, but had been absent without leave at the time of his arrest, prosecutors said.
He is accused of the Feb. 7 killing of Raymund Catolico, 39, whose body was found two days later in the bathroom of his Kettner Boulevard apartment.
If convicted of murder and committing a hate crime, Hardy could be sent to prison for life without the possibility of parole. He remains in jail in lieu of $1 million bond.
Judge Frank Brown ruled yesterday that prosecutors had presented enough evidence for Hardy to stand trial.
Deputy District Attorney Dan Link said Catolico was a homosexual man who showed romantic interest in Hardy. He said Catolico’s sexual orientation was “a substantial motivation” in the slaying.
According to court testimony, the two men met at a downtown bus station and later spent an evening drinking at Catolico’s apartment.
Hardy told San Diego police detectives that he passed out at Catolico’s apartment and awoke later to find Catolico trying to sexually assault him. Hardy told police he felt violated and that “one thing led to another and I ended up choking him.”
Deputy Public Defenders Megan Marcotte and Troy Britt contended Hardy acted in self-defense. They said prosecutors had not established that Catolico’s sexual orientation had anything to do with the killing.
However, Link argued that Hardy knew Catolico was gay when they met and Catolico asked Hardy to sleep in his bed.
from The San Diego Union-Tribune

Brooklyn Teen Is Charged In Alleged Anti-Gay Rant

January 3, 2007

GaySTATEN ISLAND – A Brooklyn teen who couldn’t get the ice cream he wanted at a fast-food restaurant Saturday night launched into an anti-gay rant, tried to hit an eatery worker and railed at cops, police allege.
Now David Eisler, 19, faces a hate crime charge.
The incident reportedly occurred at 7 p.m. when the 6-foot, 170-pound Eisler allegedly cut in line at the Staten Island Mall McDonald’s and tried to order a McFlurry, a law enforcement source said.
When a 17-year-old worker said they were out of ice cream, Eisler became enraged, yelling that “McDonald’s shouldn’t hire” gays and left.
But cops say he returned two hours later, and when he saw the same clerk, again started yelling similar anti-gay remarks.
He tried to take a swing at the worker, and when police arrived, yelled at one of the officers, saying, “Why don’t you take your gunbelt off and I’ll kick your [expletive].”
Authorities charged Eisler with a hate crime, as well as second-degree aggravated harassment, third-degree attempted assault, and two counts of second-degree harassment.
from The Staten Island Advance

Gunmen Bust In, Start Blasting In ‘Gay House’

January 2, 2007

ViolenceCHICAGO – Two masked gunmen kicked open the side and back doors of a South Side home known as the “Gay House” and started shooting up a party there early Sunday morning.
Six people were shot — two hospitalized with serious injuries — when the gunmen opened fire on about 100 partygoers about 5:30 a.m. at the house is in the 7900 block of South Woodlawn Avenue.
“They just bust[ed] through the door, and everything went haywire,” said a partygoer, who would not give his name. “I hope to God they catch whoever did this.”
Detectives canvassed the area Sunday morning, but no suspects were in custody.
“They came in and started shooting. The motive is unknown, and we haven’t determined if it is gang-related or not,” police spokeswoman Monique Bond said. “The difficulty is that the gunmen were masked.”
The police Civil Rights Unit is assisting to determine if the shooting was a hate crime, but it has not been classified as such yet, Bond said.
The gunmen, who fired semi-automatic weapons, did not utter slurs or have any verbal exchange with people at the party.
But some neighborhood folks said they wouldn’t be surprised if the shooting was motivated by anti-gay sentiments.
“We always be seeing them, and they always be looking at people,” said Kevin Carter, 18. “They give you that gay look, like you’re a female or something. That ain’t cute. People be ready to fight . . . I knew something was going to happen to that house.”
Other neighbors said the site of the shooting houses loud weekend parties that last into the wee hours of the morning. Police often respond to noise complaints, a neighbor said.
All victims male
The gun blasts sounded like “bricks being slammed against a garbage can,” neighbor Greg Jackson said.
A man who identified himself as “Mr. Cartel” said his brother, who lives at the site of the shooting, has complained to him about being “harassed” for being gay since the summer.
“I know they have been having problems periodically. That’s why I’ve been coming over here to check up on him,” Mr. Cartel said. “I hope this was not a hate crime.”
A man who lives at the house and only would identify himself as a “Chicago Tribune employee” declined comment except to say, “These are trying times, and s— happens.”
All six of the victims are males and were taken to area hospitals. Two were listed in stable condition with gunshot wounds to the chest. The other victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries, authorities said.
Police ask that anyone with information about the shooting contact Calumet Area detectives at (312) 747-8271.
from The Chicago Sun-Times

Gay Couple Beaten By Group At Restaurant

December 19, 2006

GayARIZONA – Scottsdale police are investigating a suspected hate crime reported by a gay couple who said they were jumped by as many as seven men outside a Scottsdale restaurant near McDowell and Scottsdale roads.
As they held hands and began to leave Frasher’s Steakhouse late Sunday, Jean Rolland and Andrew Frost said they were beaten in the restaurant’s entryway.
Rolland and Frost said that, as they left the restaurant, two men headed into the eatery. One of the assailants called the couple a derogatory term. It was unclear whether any weapons were used in the attack.
Frost, 19, was taken to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn, where he was treated and released. Frost received several staples to treat a wound on his scalp and several stitches to seal other wounds on his face.
Rolland, 28, suffered minor injuries.
The men want to press charges against their attackers, none of whom had been arrested as of Monday afternoon, according to Scottsdale police.
“My only hope is that they’re going to brag about it and tell their friends how tough they were,” said Rolland, a native of France who lives part time in Scottsdale.
The Sunday-night incident was upsetting, he said, because no one from the restaurant said they saw anything, though the attacked happened only a few feet from the front door.
“It was creepy to me,” said Frost, a Scottsdale resident.
“I had blood pouring out of me, and I actually blacked out at one point.”
Scottsdale police confirmed the assault about 8 p.m. at the restaurant at 2122 N. Scottsdale Road.
George Frasher, owner of the restaurant, said he was shocked to hear about the attack, which started near the entrance before spilling out into the parking lot.
Rolland and Frost brought the assault to the attention of the Arizona Human Rights Fund and Foundation, a Phoenix-based non-profit organization that advocates for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights.
The organization, which has lobbied the Legislature for stricter penalties involving hate crimes, will follow the Scottsdale police investigation to determine if the attack was triggered by anti-gay sentiments.
from AZ Central

Gay Hate Crime Attack Turns Out To Be Self Inflicted

November 18, 2006

Boise State UniversityBOISE, IDAHO – The Boise State student who reported being beaten on the Greenbelt last week, now says the attack never happened.
The student, a 20-year-old man, first told police he had been targeted and beaten because he was gay. He made the claim a week ago, saying he had been attacked on the Greenbelt near the BSU campus. He said several other students beat him up.
He said made it clear they targeted him because of his sexual orientation.
In response to the report of an on-campus attack, BSU administration issued a safety alert. The student government organized a huge rally on Tuesday and this candlelight vigil was held Wednesday — both to speak out against hate and show support for the alleged victim.
That student confessed to police today he wasn’t beat up by others, but used sticks and his own fists to self-inflict his injuries. The 20-year-old had also initially reported his car was vandalized with anti-gay statements, but now police say all other evidence the student claimed was connected to the attack was fabricated.
Very soon after he reported being beaten up, the student sent out two e-mails asking the media not to give the incident any more attention, saying he “wanted it to go away.”
It may be too late for that. Boise police say they will turn over all the information they have to Ada County prosecutors, who could charge the student with filing a false police report.
Filing a false police report is a misdemeanor with a penalty of up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
NewsChannel 7 contacted many of the students who spoke openly at the rally and vigil this week, but they said they had no comment after learning the initial report was made up.
Boise police say they want to reassure the public and Boise State community that police patrol the Greenbelt near campus daily and safety is consistently a top priority.
Meanwhile, Boise State University released this statement today after learning the outcome of the police investigation:
This has been a difficult time for Boise State University. We are supporting the student any way we can with counseling services and through the help of his friends, family and university staff. We appreciate the work of the Boise Police Department. It is a relief to know that this assault did not take place on the Greenbelt near campus. The administration remains committed to a safe and secure environment for its students, faculty, staff and visitors.
The campus community and the Boise Police Department took this report seriously and investigated it as a suspected bias incident. In the past week, actions included issuing a safety alert, a rally on the Quad and a candlelight vigil about civility and tolerance, jointly organized by the students and the university. The administration recognizes that its efforts need to be ongoing to further develop a campus climate of respect and inclusiveness.
from KTVB