Hate Crime Enhancements Filed Over Galveston Gay Bar Attack


Yesterday I posted about the anti-gay attack at Robert's Lafitte, a gay-friendly bar in Galveston, Texas. Three men (photo, below) were arrested after one held open a door and the other two hurled rocks at the customers inside. The men are now being held on $120,000 bond and hate crime enhancements have been added to their charges, the Houston Chronicle reports:

Robertslafitte "This marks only the second time the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office has pursued such enhancements, based on the staff’s recollections, said prosecutor Jennifer Ott. As a result, brothers Lawrence Henry Lewis III, 20, and Lawrneil Henry Lewis, 18, and their cousin, Alejandro Sam Gray, 17 could face an elevated punishment of five to 99 years or life in prison if a jury convicts them of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and agrees they committed a hate crime. The trio is accused of hurling large rocks or pieces of concrete at patrons inside Robert’s Lafitte in the 2500 block of Avenue Q around 8 p.m. Sunday, injuring two men, including one who tried to chase them. Marc Bosaw, 57, needed 12 staples to close a laceration to the back of his head, while James Troy Nickelson, 39, was struck in the jaw. One of the three suspects later told police their intent was to target homosexuals, said Galveston Police Department Lt. D.J. Alvarez. The trio also hurled homophobic insults, authorities said."

Robert's Lafitte was one of the first businesses to reopen after Hurricane Ivan devastated Galveston lat September, providing food and water for the community.

Watch an interview with Bosaw and other bar patrons, AFTER THE JUMP...


Posted March 4, 2009 at 10:15am ETC by Andy Towle
in crime, gay bar, News, Texas