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Gay Bartender Attacked Leaving Oilcan Harry's in Austin, TX: VIDEO


A bartender at Austin, Texas gay bar Oilcan Harry's was attacked by two men after leaving work on Saturday night, KVUE reports:

Steven Benoit says he began walking home from the bar around 3:15 a.m. when he noticed the men following him. He says one of the men punched him in the back of the head so hard his glasses fell off his face. He says the men chased him for several blocks through downtown before he jumped into a taxi and waited for police. "I don't know if it's because they saw me leaving a bar, they thought I was gay and they were going to attack me, or they thought I had money," said Benoit.


A similar attack on two of Benoit's gay softball teammates last year inspired a massive march against hate in Austin.

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  1. Awesome... My favorite bar in Austin- the one I go to because San Antonio is sketchy. I love feeling so safe in Texas. : \

    Posted by: Cole | Feb 8, 2012 9:08:01 AM

  2. @Cole: Right, 'cause no one ever gets gay bashed or mugged in Chelsea, the West Village, Weho, or the Castro.

    Posted by: Angel | Feb 8, 2012 9:37:52 AM

  3. Amazing that he kept his cool so that he could describe his attackers to dispatch.

    Posted by: sylvatica | Feb 8, 2012 10:15:28 AM

  4. I'm glad to see that he wasn't too badly hurt, and that one of the attackers were caught. Also agree that he showed a lot of poise in such a dramatic situation to describe the attackers and stay under control.

    Unfortunately, the statement "Austin police don't investigate these crimes as hate crimes" makes it difficult to know exactly what the reason was of this assault. The fact they reportedly assaulted other individuals that night make me think it may have been a crime of opportunity, but then again we don't know if they targeted these individuals for being gay, or if these people are gay at all.

    Hopefully we find out more information and the other thug is arrested and taken off the streets.

    Posted by: Francis | Feb 8, 2012 10:39:27 AM

  5. Sounds less like a gay bash and more like a robbery. Either way, That guy is cute!

    Posted by: Fenrox | Feb 8, 2012 10:48:45 AM

  6. Dammit, I was going to spend Mardi Gras at Oilcan Harry's. It's getting to where a gay person can't seem to walk down the street here in Texas without being beaten, mugged, thrown in a fire(what's with all the burning of people of late?) or verbally accosted just because of who nature tells them to love? The aliens are never going to visit if humans keep acting this way towards each other as it is certainly telling of how they would treat anyone from another of the millions of planets out there. Think "The Day the Earth stood Still".

    Posted by: Skooter McGoo | Feb 8, 2012 12:33:54 PM

  7. Oilcan Harry's was like a second home during college! It was always relatively safe then (both due to Austin's high gay-positivity and the safety-in-numbers that comes from hundreds (if not thousands) of people out on 4th and 6th streets around the same time of night (though OCH is in the bottom "corner" it was, at least then, near a major 70s multi-level club, next to another gay bar, and across the street from a popular Irish bar and on the way to the Austin Music Hall parking garage where people parked for all of them--so lots of foot traffic at all time until after last call.) It is notable that this happened after 3:15am, when all the crowds were mostly gone (most clear out from the area after last call) and employees were heading home. It also makes me suspect it was either highly motivated hate (as in they waited till everyone was gone and employees to trickle out) OR it was more of a pure robbery motive, thinking they'd get a server/bartender(with their tips in cash on their person) alone and rob them. OCH being a gay club may come into play if they thought a gay guy might put up less of a fight(which is dumb, but not really hate) or if they were also aware that the strippers and go-go boys have a lot of cash on their person as well at the end of the night. Either way, I'd still prefer they be allowed to investigate to determine which it was--a hate crime or a robbery, so that the people of Austin and law enforcement can use that information to make Austin safer.

    Posted by: LuckyLinden | Feb 8, 2012 12:34:40 PM

  8. Dear Bartenders,

    Everyone knows you have a lot of cash on you at the end of the night, or just assume it. DO NOT leave by yourself. Hate Crime or Robbery, it's too risky. Go with a friend, have security escort you, or have a taxi pull right up to the door. In these sad economic times, criminals are getting bolder and bolder.

    If you see something, do something. If you're being followed, go into the middle of the street and flag down help. Anything.

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Feb 8, 2012 3:03:45 PM

  9. Reporting stories about violence against gay people is an important task, and because it IS so important, I rather dislike stories (such as this one) that seem much more like random robbery attempts. There is zero evidence that this was a hate-motivated crime.
    If ANY crime that happens to involve a gay person as a victim gets labeled as a hate crime, it dilutes the power of that term.
    Towleroad is the best web site in the world about gay news and culture, but I wish the editors would take a pass on stories like these. The really awful cases (as in Atlanta) shouldn't have to compete for the reader's attention with something more appropriate for a neighborhood crime report.
    PS God, is he cute!

    Posted by: plinx | Feb 8, 2012 3:18:24 PM

  10. Well at least he's safe and more importantly, still pretty.

    Posted by: Jay | Feb 8, 2012 5:10:56 PM

  11. Luckily nothing bad happened so far! The shameful reality of homosexual hate crime!

    Posted by: Alya M | Feb 8, 2012 5:21:11 PM

  12. Getting jumped can of course happen anywhere and do, not just in Texas or conservative areas. You think gays aren't jumped in NYC, S.F., Boston LOL?

    Posted by: ratbastard | Feb 8, 2012 10:34:10 PM

  13. Update:

    Posted by: Clark | Feb 9, 2012 6:39:17 PM

  14. Massive marches are so effective.

    Posted by: TJ | Mar 18, 2013 4:31:03 PM

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