Victim's Friend Says South Florida Hit-and-Run Was Hate Crime


The friend of a hospitalized hit-and-run victim in Wilton Manors, Florida says he believes that 31-year-old Tommy Davis was targeted by a driver because he is gay.

The hit-and-run occurred on September 18 outside of the Ramrod bar where Davis works as a bartender, WPLG Miami reports:

"It was shortly after 10 p.m. Sept. 18 when Davis was crossing Northeast Fourth Avenue to return to work. [Davis' friend Marcus] Hopkins said Davis got halfway into the right lane when Davis, he and another friend heard an engine rev. Hopkins said Davis ran, but before he could get away, the car swerved onto the sidewalk and hit him. 'When he hit the windshield, he bounced off the car and hit the dirt,' said Hopkins. The driver of the car then swerved back onto the road and kept going. Hopkins believes the incident might have been a hate crime."

Davis remains on a ventilator at in the ICU at Broward General Medical Center. The Ramrod is reportedly holding a fundraiser tonight to help pay for Davis' medical expenses.

Wilton Manors is adjacent to Fort Lauderdale.

Hit-And-Run Victim Targeted For Being Gay [wplg]

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  1. Sad story. Hope they string the person up who did this.

    Posted by: dc20008 | Oct 10, 2007 5:09:52 PM

  2. Cor, that is always one of my big fears, and I know how traffic can be in South Florida.

    I wish him a speedy and full recovery.

    Posted by: Gary | Oct 10, 2007 5:10:31 PM

  3. I've said it before and I'll say it again... DON'T GO TO BARS!!! I've never heard of a gay person being a victim of a hate crime when he walks out of a Starbuck's or a Barnes and Noble. For your safety, please stop going to bars! Even a black belt in Karate carrying a machine gun couldn't have prevented this tragedy from happening.

    Posted by: Don't go to bars!!! | Oct 10, 2007 5:16:33 PM

  4. @Don't Go To Bars!!!

    That is rediculous. I am not going to live in fear because of what could happen if I am seen leaving a gay establishment.

    If that happens, then the homophobes win. That's what they want, they want us back in our closets.

    Besides, the music at the bars is better than that in my closet!

    Posted by: Taylor | Oct 10, 2007 5:20:43 PM

  5. Gay men are often victims of hate crimes while walking out of a Starbucks or Barnes and Noble if those businesses are in gay areas.

    Posted by: Boobs | Oct 10, 2007 5:23:14 PM

  6. Wilton Manners is a creepy place. I'm surprised crimes like this haven't happened there more often. Several years ago my friend parked his brand new BMW right around the corner from the Ramrod and when we came out the word "FAG" was keyed in huge letters across his hood.

    The town is an uneasy mix or lower-income minority families and new queens determined to make it a suburban version of a gay ghetto.

    That being said, I hope Davis recovers fully and quickly.

    Posted by: stevo | Oct 10, 2007 5:31:55 PM

  7. One of the first reactions of the Mayor Naugle hate campaign in Ft. Lauderdale, no doubt. Wilton Manors is at the epicenter of the debate.

    Posted by: Archbishop Bruce J. Simpson | Oct 10, 2007 6:20:03 PM

  8. Wow - for years now I thought Wilton Manors was a SECTION of Ft Lauderdale. I never realized it was a city on its own. And I've stayed there several times! LOL

    Posted by: Gregg | Oct 10, 2007 7:18:20 PM

  9. To "Boobs,"

    Show me one link to any news story in the last ten years that says a gay man was bashed as he walked out of a Starbuck's or Barnes and Noble. If you can't do that, then I just proved you are a liar!

    Don't go to bars!

    Posted by: DON'T GO TO BARS!!! | Oct 10, 2007 8:11:12 PM

  10. Don't go to bars because you don't like paying $6 for a bottle of bud (instead of a case).

    Don't go to bars because you don't like shouting your conversations.

    Don't go to bars because you don't want your entire wardrobe smelling like a humidor.

    But not going to bars because you're afraid of getting bashed? Fuck off, closet case.

    Posted by: tservo | Oct 10, 2007 8:59:52 PM

  11. I'm a tad skeptical this was a hate crime unless the driver was seen circling the block several times or something. Otherwise, who knows?? I hope he fully recovers and quickly.

    Posted by: anon ( | Oct 10, 2007 9:14:52 PM

  12. Haha Anon. It obviously wasn't an accident. The description of the revving engine and swerving onto the sidewalk as the guy was running away makes an accident very unlikely.

    Posted by: John K. | Oct 10, 2007 10:01:01 PM

  13. Gentlemen, Please, the point is not whether we go to bars or not. If any of you have read this blog or are remotely aware of current events, there is a huge surge in gay bashing.
    Have I stepped into a parallel universe where gay men are arguing the difference between going to a book/coffee shop and a gay bar and the safety concerns revolving each? Is this 1960? Get it together, get pissed off and mobilize.

    Posted by: Dennis | Oct 11, 2007 2:25:47 AM

  14. Gay bashing or not, pretty horrific. No question.

    The fact that he likely has no health insurance and now needs people to raise funds to pay for his care is also horrific.

    Pardon my rant, but I'm justing getting really discouraged. The US sucks, period. War by choice, healthcare (lack thereof or lack of adequate coverage) so you go into debt for the rest of your life if you have anything more serious than a cold, lack of regulatory oversight leading to lead painted toys and poisonous meat as well as deadly pet food, spotty civil rights and protections for gays, corporate press doing master's bidding and not informing the populace, etc.

    As an american born and bred, it all just disgusts me. Somebody tell me I just got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Tell me my dispair is overwrought emotion since I didn't sleep well last night.

    Didn't think you could.

    For those of you america firsters who suggest I move, don't worry I already have. Its like watching a meth addicted friend just circle the drain waiting for a crisis, since friends' early attempts at intervention failed. I worry what that crisis will be in the US.

    Posted by: Will | Oct 11, 2007 7:09:56 AM

  15. John K.: the problem is you have to prove it was a hate crime beyond a reasonable doubt--you're working under the assumption that it needs to be disproved. Even if the witness description is accurate the intent of the driver needs to be established and my problem is that the driver would have to have premeditated the collision to make it a hate crime rather than simply reckless driving (every hear of cell phones? Drinking and driving?). How can the driver premeditate such a thing on such short notice and how can such intent be proved? Assault with a deadly weapon or attempted murder in the second would be sufficient charges to say the least. I don't think there is even a category of attempted vehicular homicide in law.

    Posted by: anon ( | Oct 11, 2007 11:48:18 AM

  16. I do hope Tommy Davis recovers quickly, this is horrible, I pray they find the person that did it, but I have to say to Anon (, the driver damn sure could have pre-meditated. Before I truly learned indifference, I would have been HAPPY to have run over my ex in a parking lot. And after a few cocktails? I'm sure I wouldn't have even bothered to drive off because I'd have been too busy doing it again

    and again

    and again

    and again...

    Fortunately I was never afforded that opportunity, by fate, good sense, or survival instincts, I don't know, but now that he's off making someone else miserable, I'm friggin happy. HAPPY, I TELL YOU! WHOOHOOO! Poor bastard (the new victim, I mean).

    I will say a little prayer for Tommy tonight, and maybe the driver will turn himself in, whatever the circumstances may be.

    Posted by: FizziekruntNT | Oct 11, 2007 12:04:01 PM

  17. Wilton Manors and Fort Lauderdale can market to gay tourists all they want, but a marketing campaign can't make a place gay friendly. Between the mayor, the incident at the airport, and now this... no wonder places like NYC and Key West came in ahead of Fort Lauderdale in a recent poll rating the gay friendliness of cities. Fort Lauderdale's ad campaign really is false advertising.

    Posted by: Jim | Oct 11, 2007 1:40:24 PM

  18. OMG!! I hope he recovers quickly!! I would like ANON to be right and this to be another case of careless driving (working for the Ministry of Transportation has opened my eyes, there are freaks out there!)

    Now, DON'T GO TO BARS, what would you say to my friend who got bashed right outside my door steps. On a quiet Tuesday evening? The poor guy worked at this bar, probably to pay his way through school (or not, don't have all the facts), or help a relative. Do you suggest that he should have gone and got another job? Would you have helped him? I've seen the same remarks all over this blog from you and it's rather tiring, ridiculous and plain insensitive. Just quit it, already! Not every gay person is into coffee and books. Some of us actually see "fun" in a different light. Oh yeah, you wanted links to the crimes that happen elsewhere? Towleroad reports them quite often. Remember the school in Nova Scotia? The russian mob in San Francisco? Michael Sandy's case? There are plenty of them on the net if you'd just look them up instead of encouraging lazy, cowardly behaviours such as "avoiding bars" and "reading book over tea at one's home"! You're insane!!

    Posted by: Shabaka | Oct 11, 2007 1:51:12 PM

  19. To Shabaka -

    You proved my point perfectly. I challenged someone to paste a link to a story (even a Towleroad story) that said a gay man was bashed as he walked out of a Starbuck's or a "Barnes and Noble." So far, no one can do that. By the way, if you want a response from me about your "friend" who was gay-bashed, your story was very vague. It didn't mention any details, so you're going to have to be much more specific (if it even happened at all, which I doubt). What city? What time of day? How did the bashers know your friend was gay?

    Posted by: DON'T GO TO BARS | Oct 11, 2007 2:22:05 PM

  20. You're a loon my friend

    Posted by: jmg | Oct 11, 2007 2:31:20 PM

  21. Anyone who resorts to abuse and name-calling does so because they can't argue my facts and they know I'm right. So there!

    Posted by: DON'T GO TO BARS | Oct 11, 2007 3:20:06 PM

  22. No hun,you got it all wrong. Maybe I didn't explain clearly, I meant DAVIS(the victim at topic here) might have been working to get through school. My friend in question was coming from MY place, on a Tuesday eve...After a few drinks and stuff (lemme guess, we shouldn't have been drinkinhg either, you'd say!)And, just so we're square, sorry I called you insane (I'll just think it, I won't say it). Gimme 24 hrs and I'll get you the links. Just out of curiosity, what happens at "Barnes and Noble"?

    Posted by: Shabaka | Oct 11, 2007 4:52:59 PM

  23. Don't Go--It wasn't a Barnes & Noble or a Starbucks but a man in the Silverlake section of Los Angeles was beaten outside a restaurant (and not even a gay restaurant) earlier this year. There was another report on this site of a couple being attacked outside a restaurant. Don't go around calling people liars or they might call you an idiot.

    Posted by: Boobs | Oct 11, 2007 7:15:36 PM

  24. Don't Go--I see you want a story specifically where someone was bashed coming out of a Starbucks or a Barnes and Noble--no other establishments will do. I've finished bashing my head against a wall with you and I will just write you off for the OCD ass you are.

    Anon, whoever you are, it sounds exactly like a gay bashing.

    Posted by: Boobs | Oct 11, 2007 7:19:22 PM

  25. Yet, Bush vows he'll veto any anti-hate crime bill. The Senate passed it, but the mealy-mouthed Republicans won't vote for it in the House. We have to unite and make our votes count. There are an estimated 30 to 40 million gay votes in the United States, but gays won't go to the polls. We, joined together, could control the outcome of any election, especially the White House, but it's easier to sit home in fear and bitch instead of doing something positive by voting. We COULD elect the next who would give us the 1,100 rights that we are denied but are granted to heteros.

    Posted by: Ritch | Oct 11, 2007 9:35:52 PM

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