El Paso Police Arrest Suspect in Beating Near Gay Club, Say Assault Was Gang-Related, Not Hate Crime

A 16-year-old has been arrested in the brutal beating of a straight man outside a gay nightclub in El Paso last week, the El Paso Times reports:

Op The assault, police said, was gang-related and did not meet the criteria of a "hate crime," which upset the victim's family and gay-rights activists who said Lionel Martinez was targeted only because he was near the Old Plantation nightclub frequented by gays and lesbians.

Police arrested the teen gang member Thursday afternoon on suspicion of aggravated assault. More arrests are expected. The teen's name was not released because he is a juvenile.

Martinez, 22, remained hospitalized in critical condition Thursday and has yet to regain consciousness after early Saturday attack, said his sister Deanne Martinez.

Martinez says her brother is not part of a gang and insists her brother was targeted because he was outside of a gay nightclub.


  1. BGKev says

    I didn’t take the “gang-related” remark as meaning the victim was a member of a gang. I assumed it meant the perp had to jump someone for his initiation and this guy just happened to be the one.

  2. Chitown Kev says

    Why can’t it be both a gang-initiation thing AND a hate crime (beating up a fag is a part of some gang initiation, although it might not be in this particular case

  3. FizziekruntNT says

    “Deanne Martinez said her brother, who is straight, is not a gang member. Last week, he graduated as a diesel technician and was scheduled to start an internship, she said.

    On Friday night, she and her brother went with friends to the OP, as the nightclub is known. Deanne Martinez said she left the club but her brother later called her to pick him up. He was waiting for her in a parking area by a warehouse next to the club.”


    First of all, how is being a diesel mechanic an indicator that her brother is straight? What was the purpose of that statement?! And why did he decide to hang out after she left? Doesn’t matter either way, but it all sounds suspicious. And whether a person is gay or not, how is the motivation not considered a hate crime? He wasn’t standing outside say, a 7-11 now was he?

    Texas has more than one armpit, but El Paso is by FAR one of the largest, smelliest of them.

  4. Homo Genius says


    First of all, who cares if something is a “hate crime”. I mean really. The guy was assualted regardless of motivation. why is there a rush to label every incident a hate crime. How does that actually change anything?

    Second, his being straight shouldnt be in question. Many gay clubs get a straight clientelle because they play dance music.

    Finally, I am wondering why the OP didnt have security. I have been to clubs in other places in Texas and usually there is private security outside for the express purpose of preventing people from being gay bashed.

  5. Francis says

    So, what we have here is a man who was beaten for no reason, and security doing little to nothing to help, police not investigating further on a potential hate crime intention, and teenagers being the ones committing these crimes. A 16 year old boy, in a gang, is committing gang-related hate crimes. So pathetically egregious and sad. Hopefully Mr. Martinez pulls through his injuries.

  6. TommyOC says

    @FizziekruntNT: Settle down, dude. The victim’s sister didn’t mention his being a diesel technician as an indication he wasn’t gay.

    She mentioned his being a diesel technician as evidence he wasn’t in a gang. That his life was going places. That he was too busy with success to be involved in such things.

    As a man who often take offense to the slightest of slights against my sexuality, even I have to say that you’re stretching waaay too far in your taking offense!

  7. Kris says

    If you’ve been to the OP in El Paso, you know that there is NOTHING close by to the club. These slimy little thugs were looking to beat up some poor gay guy that night. It’s preposterous not to call it a hate crime.

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