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.

Posted May 13, 2011 at 11:56am ETC by Andy Towle
in crime, El Paso, News