Arrest Made in Beating Death of Gay Man in Washington D.C.

In September I posted about 27-year-old Tony Randolph Hunter, who was assaulted in Washington D.C., and died of his injuries ten days later in the hospital.

Police have now made an arrest: “Investigators say 18-year-old Robert Hanna has been arrested. He’s accused of attacking and severely beating 27-year-old Tony Hunter near 8th and N Streets NW on September 7. Police say Hunter walking to a gay bar with a companion when the attack occurred. Police say Hanna had been on the run for the last three weeks, and there had been a warrant out for his arrest.”

HannaThere’s also a new story: “Law enforcement sources familiar with the case say Hunter picked Hanna out of a crowd standing on the corner and said, “I know you!” Then, they say, Hunter grabbed him below the belt. According to sources, Hanna then turned and slugged Hunter three times. As the punches flew, Hunter’s companion was assaulted as well. He described it during a phone interview with FOX 5 just two weeks ago. ‘We had just gotten out of the car when four to five guys came up on us fast,’ Hunter’s companion, who asked to remain anonymous, told FOX 5. ‘They didn’t say anything– just started swinging. Some of the men attacked Tony and some came after me. I punched back and was able to get away. When I looked back down the block I saw Tony on the ground.’ Hunter’s companion never mentioned Hunter’s alleged advances. ANC Commissioner Alexander Padro told FOX 5 he finds the story hard to believe. ‘It sounds like he’s trying to set up a gay panic defense to claim he was defending himself from an undesired action on the part of the victim,’ said Padro.”

The Washington Blade reports: “…a source familiar with the case said a police affidavit expected to be filed in D.C. Superior Court later this week reportedly states that Hanna has claimed that Hunter started the altercation by touching him in a sexually suggestive way as the two crossed paths on the street. According to the source, the police affidavit reportedly says police have witnesses to back up Hanna’s version of the story and that the witnesses reportedly support Hanna’s claim that Hunter was intoxicated.”

Police Arrest Suspect in Md. Man’s Deadly Beating [fox]
Suspect Arrested in Death Of Man Beaten on Street [washington post]


  1. says

    I’m sorry… the whole gay panic defense is such bullshit. Would he beat the living piss out of a woman who touched him below the belt if he found her unattractive and wasn’t into her?

    Actually… don’t answer that.

  2. Derrick from Philly says

    A gay man sees FOUR thugs walking down the street, goes up to one and tries to tap/grab the thug’s dingdong. And the Washington DC police force seems to accept the thug’s story.

    I wonder if there is anything that Mayor Fenty can do about homophobic, gay-hating ignorant cops on his city’s police force? If not, can Congress do something?

    Am I being melodramatic? Yeah, and justifiable so.

  3. Disgusted American says

    I find it hard to believe a Man would go up to some young thugs(whether blk or white) and just blatantly touch them/him?…and EVEN “IF” that happened…..somehow THAT justifys MURDER? Nah – I do not think so.,

  4. JeffRob says

    I’m all for expanding the gayborhood and all, but the eastward pushing of Dupont is getting a little out of hand. Just because 9th and G looks like Georgetown now does not mean the neighborhood is more friendly.

    The 16th Street “boundary” quickly became 14th, and then 11th, and now it’s practically North Capitol. There’s no reason our gay-trification can’t go hand-in-hand with Chinatown’s boom, or Howard U/Shaw’s boom, but you can’t be walkin down 8th and N holding your man’s hand at 3 in the morning like you’re on 16th and P, or randomly grabbing thugs’ packages (?!?), like, at all. Still two very different worlds, just blocks apart.

    Just be careful, folks.

  5. dcguy says

    Maybe it’s just poor writing by the Blade, but the last paragraph of this story implies the cops are taking the side of the attacker (i.e., “police have witnesses to back up Hanna’s version of the story and that the witnesses reportedly support Hanna’s claim that Hunter was intoxicated”).

    And who, pray tell, are these stellar witnesses? Associates of someone who commits random assaults? And why is a statement from the witness of the deceased apparently not included in the indictment?

    Pathetic. DC’s cops need a serious attitude adjustment.

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