Salt Lake Police Send Alert Out on Gay Basher One Month Later

Salt Lake City police are looking for a man they say beat another man in an anti-gay assault on August 9th:

Saltlakeassailant“Four people, including the victim, were partying on Churchill Drive. The location overlooks the valley and is a common meeting spot for teenagers and young adults, said Salt Lake police spokeswoman Lara Jones. The victim did not know the suspect prior to that meeting, she said. Everyone in the group was friendly at first, and the victim even had his picture taken with the others, Jones said. After the picture, the assailant , who is approximately 20, asked the victim if he was gay. When he stated he was, the man and several others hit the victim several times, breaking his orbital bone, Jones said. The victim has since had to undergo reconstructive surgery. The only description of the suspects police had Thursday was they were all Polynesian.”

Anyone with information on the Salt Lake beating or the suspect can call police at 801-799-3000.


  1. Paul R says

    How hard can it be to find a Polynesian guy in Salt Lake City when you have his picture? It’s the whitest city I’ve ever visited. Creepily, homogeneously so.

    Once again, our nation’s finest are clearly making us a top priority. I’m surprised they didn’t just arrest the victim.

  2. Bading says

    Polynesian culture has always had a place for Fa’afafines, persons who traditionally were considered as belonging to the third gender not dissimilar to the two-spirit concept of Native American culture. Specially in Samoa, Fa’afafine are prominent in all aspects of society. I am wondering, have these Polynesians been de-culturalized by living in an America that views LGBT people as despicable?

  3. Derrick from Philly says


    Yes, it is disturbing to see the change in Pacific Island cultures that used to accept alternate sexual behavior ( both same sex and transgender forms). I blame it on the Christian missionaries of course (I would blame the Muslims too, but they didn’t get any further than the Phillipines, I guess). It’s funny, we all know how gay- friendly Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is, and he is of Somoan and Black American ancestry; but there are a lot of Somoans who converted to Mormonism (for God’s sake). One of our most famous sports figures here in Philly (ex-Eagle), Viyh Sikahema (i completely fucked up the spelling of his name), he’s a Somoan convert to Mormonism…and I used to have such a crush on him. I wouldn’t go near him now– not even holding a crucifix.

    It’s ironic: as Western Europeans became more tolerant of gays, the people brainwashed by past European homophobia are lashing out against gays–especially their own gays of color.

  4. Mark in NYC says

    I was under the impression that Fa’afafines are distinct because although they’re considered third sex, they fulfill a matronly role in the society (i.e. raising children & domestic work). Their outward appearance is feminized too, with long hair and feminine dress, isn’t it?

    I am in no way defending the actions of the basher–rather trying to understand the possible motivation–but it brings to mind Last Exit to Brooklyn. Georgette was tolerated by the neighborhood boys because he was outwardly flamboyant, but Harry was beaten because he “passed” as straight.

  5. Bading says

    Yes, Mark, the gender of Fa’afafines are usually constructed around a female appearance and it’s nice that you mention Hubert Selby Jr’s book as that was a seminal tome of my youth (I was 9 when I first read it). My dad had a ‘restricted’ shelf that included editions of the Kama Sutra, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Portnoy’s Complaint, etc., which of course I continually raided when he wasn’t looking, haha. But back on topic, a lot of Fa’afafines are also gay and perhaps they are accepted because they are non-threatening, i.e., they are obviously the ‘other’? If so, then being as loud and proud as we can be is what we really need to do.

  6. says

    re: Paul – You must not have wandered far from the path. I live in Salt Lake and I agree its starkly white. We have a serious growing problem with gangs, primarily rivaling Tongan and Polynesian gangs. I’m moving away after I finish school but we have a really, really big Polynesian population compared to other states. You can thank all the Mormon missionaries who go to the islands and convert them and bring them back to the fold. Ensign Peak (the area this happened at) is a really expensive area that has a public park that overlooks the whole city. A lot of people go up there on dates after dinner to make out and what not.

    I am also sad that no one seemed to pick up the story about David Bell, a man who rescued 2 neighbor kids ages 2 and 4) from an all night gang party at a house here in Salt Lake. He gave these kids shelter and a safe place to sleep while their mom partied with Tongan gang members. When the mom came to the next morning and found her kids gone, she went next door and had her gang member friends brutally attack him. He had to go to the hospital to recover from his injuries. The Salt Lake police let the attackers leave after taking only their statements from them without even getting their names or information, and are charging him with burglary and kidnapping. A hate crime if I’ve heard of one, and a spawn of gang violence at that. Here’s the news article:

  7. Derrick from Philly says

    Wow, MATT,

    Thanks for the first hand info. on what’s happening in Salt Lake City.

    Like I say, missionaries think they’re “bringing people to Jesus” when often they are just fuckin’ up indigenous populations all over the world–taking their traditonal cultures away from them…and then, to bring them to Utah! Oh, Lord, help us. There’s blame all over the place.

  8. Rikard says

    The park Matt mentions is not public, it is a mormon church and it’s grounds. The Ensign Peak trailhead is a small memorial plaza and a trail up into the foothills in undeveloped area above the affluent neighborhood. Churchill Dr is still having houses built and is essentially a cul de sac. I use it a lot for access to a service road I jog that leads to more trails. Poly gangs are a growing problem here, as are hispanic gangs and asian gangs and aryan gangs and black gangs. The mormon church has not influenced converted members internationally to come to Utah for many years. The polynesian families are very close though and continue to come here to be together. The color of mormons and Utahns is changing just like the rest of the country. As for David Bell, he was brutally attacked in vigilante fashion by the family of the missing kids, but the Salt Lake Tribune reported he had been partying with the family that night and he took the kids to his home without consulting the family. His judgement was incredibly poor and his behavior suspicious. I have to trust the courts to see justice. The police, however, have completely failed by not taking action on the related assault.