Manhunt On For Three Accused Of Anti-Gay Assaults

SanFranSketchPolice in San Francisco yesterday asked the public to be on the look out for three men accused of two separate assaults that appear to be hate crimes. "In both incidents, the three men approached the victims, who were alone, and punched them while yelling homophobic slurs, police said. Neither victim was seriously hurt," the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

In addition to describing the men as white or Latino, the victims said they spoke "with an East Coast or foreign accent." I suppose for someone in California the East Coast is a world away, but shouldn't it be evident whether someone is American or not?

Regardless, the suspects, one of whom can seen above, are also suspected of some similar assaults.

"If this is a pattern, where these individuals are out there terrorizing a certain demographic of our city, we just want people to come forward," a police spokesperson said.


  1. TAL says

    OK, I normally LOVE Towleroad, but I find the comment “shouldn’t it be evident whether someone is American or not” a tad ignorant.

    Americans (and by that I mean citizens of the United States) do not always grow up with the same accent even if they are from the same region; many factors like socio-economic status, cultural background, ethnic background, and even the speaking habits of individuals have a big impact on accent perception.

    Additionally, not all Americans can aurally recognize the diverse accents and dialects that exist in this country, and just because someone can recognize them out does not necessarily mean someone is American or not. I know plenty of Mexican Americans, 2nd or 3rd generation, who still have a detectable Spanish accent when they speak. Do we questions whether or not they are American?

    Dialect/Accent Map –

    As I said, I normally love Towleroad articles and commentary, but this struck me as both ignorant, culturally insensitive, and condescending.

  2. johnny says

    Belonsky, that statement (American or not) was in extremely bad taste. You should retract it immediately.

  3. Matt K. says

    Could not agree more with TAL!!!

    I really dislike posts by Andrew Belonsky because he always adds personal commentary. Most of the time this commentary is decidedly anti-american in its close mindedness and hatred towards people who are not 100% pro-gay.

    The following statement from this posts, once again reinforces my dislike of posts by Andrew Belonsky – “I suppose for someone in California the East Coast is a world away, but shouldn’t it be evident whether someone is American or not?”

    This is just ridiculous!!! Who are you to say what is “American”?!

  4. Francis says

    Also, the photos of the attackers, they don’t actually look Asian to me. They look Filipino/Islander.

    The fact that the police is now on a manhunt for these men a month into these attacks is going to make it much more difficult to find these men. Although hate crimes are relatively rare in San Fran, incidents like this are a danger. People from areas where homosexuality isn’t accepted, do they assimilate or do they choose to attack. Hopefully everyone is on the look-out for these thugs so people can feel safe. Seems like they’re attacking random people so they shouldn’t be that hard to find.

  5. Tom says

    Sorry, Andrew, but I have to agree with the others. I am a Californian, who lived on the east coast for a few years. I would at times encounter people who couldn’t place where I was from. And some, especially those who had not traveled out of the northeast, may have assumed that I was from a foreign country. I remember one guy in the East Village thinking I was Australian. I’m sure your comment was not meant to be insensitive, but it did come off as myopic.

  6. rustytrawler says

    I’m with the others regarding the accent comment. It’s out of place, especially given that the victims were under duress and may have had trouble focusing on the accent. All they recognized was that there was one.

  7. jt says

    Wow…tacky dig there. Many Americans have a variety of dialects…foreign born or regional. I know u probably dont leave the upper west side and Fire Island is the only place that u do any “mixing”….but wow…i know u can do better than that.

  8. JJ says

    “shouldn’t it be evident whether someone is American or not?” This is especially not true if the victims are not born and raised in the U.S. If you were attacked in London by someone from “the North,” are you sure you could distinguish a Northern England accent from Irish and Scottish accents? If you were attacked in Sydney, could you say for sure whether your attacker was Australian, New Zealander, or South African?

  9. ratbastard says

    Some of these comments are funny. I have a strong ‘East Coast’ accent. I’ve lived in California. NO ONE has ever thought I was a ‘foreigner’, and I have NEVER heard any American [native born], no matter if they have a western/west coast, midwest, southern, northeast accent [or no accent as some claim; EVERYONE has an accent] whom I’ve confused with being ‘foreign’.

    The California accents I’m familiar with sound nothing like Australian. They’re distinctly American, at least to me.

    Now, when living and traveling in Europe and the UK, I’m frequently thought to be something other than American. The most common I’ve heard is Australian, South African. I assume it’s because my Boston accent causes me to pronounce ‘R’ like ‘ah’, unlike almost all other American accents, and this R pronunciation has a lot more in common with southeast England/London or Australia. When I ask for a bee-ah [beer] I must sound Australian to them.

  10. Francis says

    Although I do believe what Andrew said was way out of bounds, we do need to keep our focus on the fact there are serial gay bashers on the loose in San Francisco, or at least were, whether they are from the area or not, the fact they are connected to at least and potentially several others throughout a long period of time is a very dangerous thing. If you like in San Francisco, pass out fliers and make sure photos of these men are in visible areas so people can see them and be able to help in the process of finding these criminals.

  11. jack says

    There is nothing out of line with Andrew Belonsky’s comments. You guys should take your excessively sensative P C and shove it where the sun don’t shine.

  12. David Hearn says

    Arms yourselves. How many times does it have to be said? Your permit to keep and bear arms is in the US Constitution. In those places, such as San Francisco County, where the citizens permit the police to refuse to issue permits, it’s still better to be judged by tweleve than carried by six.

    A Ruger LCP is about $300 and can be carried in your pocket. I carry one all the time. If you could predict when you will need it, then you could avoid the situation. But how long are you guys going to continue to walk through the streets in fear? Wondering if the next shadow coming toward you will be the one to harm you?

    Ask the drunk guy in Baltimore who was beaten, robbed, and stripped naked. On the steps of the courthouse! Then you have that Owens guy who was attacked for having the audacity to tell some kids to stop playing in the street. Not to mention the crimes which go unreported. I have been on the Divisadero bus when “youths” thought it was funny to slap some guy out of the blue, and then (Get this!) told my roomie “You can’t hit him, he a chile, he under 18!” I have been on the bus at 18th and Castro when ghetto rats tried to snatch stuff away from gay people. I remember some queen yelling, “One day we will fight back!” I’m still waiting. How about that guy that got mugged in DC while ten unarmed and useless f****ts did nothing?

    Arm yourselves. Think about Israel. In one generation they went from being the victim Jews to being the fierce force to be reckoned with and I cheer them every day for it.


  13. mary says

    I agree that Andrew’s remark was inappropriate, but let’s cut him some slack. There’s no reason to think he’s a bigot, and we’ve all had “a Steve Urkel moment” at least once in our lives, haven’t we? The one where we think about what we just wrote/said and say to ourselves “did I do that?” I’ve had numerous Urkel moments (even on Towleroad – ask TJ!), so I can’t condemn anyone!

  14. jack says

    @David: You would probably be a happier man if you stopped fixating on the few who become victims of crime and instead look at the overwhelming majority who live happy unarmed lives. I live in center city Phila and have never been the victim of a crime. I don’t “walk through the streets in fear”.

  15. johnny says

    “There is nothing out of line with Andrew Belonsky’s comments. You guys should take your excessively sensative P C and shove it where the sun don’t shine.”

    Wow, Seriously? You think this is PC and we’re being sensitive? Think again:

    My parents came to this country from post-war Germany with very heavy accents. To this day, they still speak with accents. They fought to come here, paid to come here and went through citizenship legally to be here. To write something about someone having an accent and then wonder about their being Americans or not…? This is wholly UN-American! We are a melting pot nation. At the turn of the century thousands of people had accents, italians, russians, irish, etc… and they are all Americans.

    And Mary, While you may have had Urkel moments, you also don’t write for a (normally) respected international blog and make your Urkel moments in such a public way. It’s the responsibility of these writers to do a “brain check” first before they post such garbage.

  16. TAL says

    I strongly disagree with the notion of cutting the author slack for this article, and I don’t see that using Urkel as a point of reference is any excuse for the poor choice of words of a writer. If you put it out there, then you are responsible for what you said and you should own up to it. A statement to the effect that it was a poor choice of words suffice, though a statement admitting to complete insensitivity would be preferred.

    The author says, “I suppose for someone in California the East Coast is a world away, but shouldn’t it be evident whether someone is American or not?”

    1. After explaining that the victim was assaulted by three men, both verbally and physically, the author indicates here that he would have done a significantly better job of identifying the perpetrators if he was in the same situation, noticing everything down to their accents. Seriously? This is completely insensitive and is mocking the victims. Would you expect the same level of detail from someone who was bashed on the head with a baseball bat, or a woman who was raped? Does someone only getting punched and verbally abused mean they should have a better grasp of the situation as it is going on?

    2. Again, I point to the fact that accent has nothing to do with being American anymore than race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc. The idea that Americans are so easily identifiable and that individuals who do not fall into the cooke cutter mold reminds me too much of Republicans from the back hills who think that only WASPs are real Americans.