Crime | Missoula | Montana | News

Gay Man Allegedly Beaten in Homophobic Attack in Missoula, Montana


UPDATE: Law enforcement now says the incident was fabricated.

A man identified as "Joseph" was targeted in an anti-gay beating outside a bar in Missoula, Montana in the early hours of Sunday, according to the Wipeout Homophobia page on Facebook, which posted the above set of photos today.

The Missoulian confirms that the man had gone to the Missoula Club to celebrate his 22nd birthday, and it was outside of that establishment that the attack took place:

The man told police he’d asked people about the location of a gay bar, when someone asked him to step outside for a cigarette, Brodie said.

But the man said that when he left the bar, someone hit him, and then two more people joined in, Brodie said. The incident happened at 1:30 a.m. Sunday and the man reported it to police at 4:30 a.m., after he got home, Brodie said.

Missoula Police Lt. Scott Brodie told the paper that the man “indicated he was assaulted because of his sexual preference."

According to KPAX, "Police say they're considering the assault a misdemeanor."

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  1. If I am hit by someone for no reason, it isn't a misdemeanor. Assault is criminal. They deserve appropriate punishment. We do not deserve to be second-class citizens...even in Missoula.

    Posted by: candidennc | Aug 6, 2012 6:48:10 PM

  2. If I get roughed up like that and it's considered a misdemeanor by the police and prosecution, I'd plot a very long, detailed revenge myself.

    Posted by: galore | Aug 6, 2012 6:53:11 PM

  3. @CANDIDENNC: A misdemeanor *is* criminal; in most states it's a crime for which the punishment is less than a year in jail. The charge here is likely to be simple assault. In Montana, simple assault would be likely to result in a jail sentence of up to 6 months or a fine of up to $500.

    Had the injuries been more severe, the charge could have been aggravated assault, a felony, which would be punished by a jail sentence of 2 to 20 years and a fine of up to $50,000.

    Montana apparently does not include sexual orientation in its hate crime penalty enhancement, which applies to "race, creed, religion, color, national origin, or involvement in civil rights or human rights activities". And that's the problem here, not the misdemeanor.

    Posted by: Vint | Aug 6, 2012 7:05:29 PM

  4. First of all, the police lieutenant using the term "sexual preference" really rubs me the wrong way. Of course, that doesn't begin to compare to the feeling I get about this hate crime being classified as a misdemeanor. That alone just gives the impression that there isn't a lot of importance being placed on this incident.

    Such a shame. I'm not surprised anymore about these hate crimes, however. We're seeing hate crime after hate crime, virtually all of them scattered throughout the South and Middle America. And the worst part is, the attackers are rarely caught and the attacks are inconsistently investigated as hate crimes. How can we expect this tide of crime against our community in these areas to stop when the police often don't seem to care?

    We've made a lot of progress but as has been made clear the past few weeks, we have a very long way to go throughout much of America.

    Posted by: Francis | Aug 6, 2012 7:16:15 PM

  5. Welcome to "Equality America."

    Posted by: Josh | Aug 6, 2012 7:20:22 PM

  6. Even the cuts and bruises on that face can't take away from how incredibly gorgeous he is.

    Posted by: peterparker | Aug 6, 2012 7:22:11 PM

  7. It's Montana. What surprises me is that anyone would be surprised. The god fearing people there are obviously also afraid of gay people.

    Posted by: terry | Aug 6, 2012 7:28:32 PM

  8. He has Julia Roberts nose.

    Posted by: Malaysian Ho | Aug 6, 2012 7:32:22 PM

  9. Thank you "Vint" for doing what I was about to produce in this comment. A misdemeanor is indeed a crime and conviction of same gives one a criminal record. Now about the poorly written story in that paper: was the victim in a straight bar asking for the location of a gay bar? You can't tell from the story although that seems to be the case from the assault. Who, in rural America goes to a straight drinking place alone (or even with friends) and announces they're gay and where is the party in town for my kind? Sort of reckless if that is what happened, but the poor journalism makes it impossible to tell.

    Posted by: Contrarian | Aug 6, 2012 7:41:25 PM

  10. This doesn't surprise me a bit that it's from sh1thole Montana. I've met azzholes from there who would go on and on about "queers". I've never liked Montana ever since and this is just one more reminder how fvcked up they are there.

    Posted by: Montana Pigs | Aug 6, 2012 8:07:49 PM


    Posted by: THE QUEEN | Aug 6, 2012 8:26:52 PM

  12. I go to school in Missoula. While it is much more liberal than the rest of the state, I'm still cautious about going to certain bars and clubs. The Missoula Club is pretty trashy and was heavily featured in a story about the recent increase in rapes occurring in Missoula. I definitely don't think he deserved to have this happen but I'm surprised by his naiveté in this particular situation.

    Posted by: Red Dye 40 | Aug 6, 2012 8:44:49 PM

  13. A God-fearing person didn't do this. God creates some people as gay, pure and simple.
    Christians have the command of Jesus, "Judge Not" to obey, and would not raise their hand to harm another human being. The person that did this holds God in contempt for His creation. LGBTQ people don't need to wear "chicken suits" (where did that comment come from?); they don't need to hide or try to live "in the closet"; they need to demand equality. Hiding your God-given sexuality is evil.

    Posted by: Mark Stout | Aug 6, 2012 8:46:50 PM

  14. It can't be easy to be gay in Montana...

    Posted by: jaragon | Aug 6, 2012 9:06:35 PM

  15. Hate crime assault = domestic terrorism

    Posted by: Jester | Aug 6, 2012 10:05:38 PM

  16. I think the biggest adversary is this god character.

    Posted by: Josh | Aug 6, 2012 10:13:20 PM

  17. awful

    Posted by: reality | Aug 6, 2012 10:42:08 PM

  18. Actually, a misdemeanor assault is about right here, considering the circumstances. If there's no CCTV or other video footage and few if any independent witnesses to the assault, police normally pay little attention to such things, unless the assault resulted in severe injuries or death. Joseph doesn't look that badly beaten up; I've been in a few fights and brawls in my life, and have suffered far worse injuries than those in the photo of Joseph.

    Plus, I'll take posters who are familiar with the bar he went to at their word that it was an un-wise choice he made. Perhaps there were other reasons for going to that bar that Joseph isn't talking about. Maybe not. Just saying. I hope he heals quickly.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 6, 2012 10:59:09 PM

  19. Yes, we must mark the boundary lines where gay kids are not allowed to cross. If they dare venture out of their boundaries, they deserve whatever they get. Thanks to the a-holes on here who once again blame the victim and even worse are supposedly of their own kind. But you are sure to tack on "oh but I hope he heals quickly" or some such garbage. Go jump in the proverbial lake, please.

    Posted by: Hector | Aug 6, 2012 11:20:53 PM

  20. I've lived in Missoula for the last twenty years, and in Montana my whole life. We are not "montana pigs," as a previous poster has claimed. In fact, I live openly, and proudly, and for the most part, my community has embraced me. I was hassled way more when I lived in NYC for two years. This is a tragic, but relatively uncommon thing to happen in Missoula. I feel terribly for the kid, and we are organizing at this very moment to take to the streets, and to let the bar (ironically called "The Mo Club") know in no uncertain terms that we will be heard. There are homophobic assholes EVERYWHERE. This is a good town, and we adopted the only anti-discrimination ordinance in the state.

    Posted by: sissyspaceship | Aug 6, 2012 11:36:38 PM

  21. This was most likely done to him by antigay Christians who have become terrorist like the shooter in Wisconsin.

    Posted by: Mike | Aug 7, 2012 12:11:36 AM

  22. After the most successful Pride Celebration in Montana history, when more supporters than ever showed up for equality and to support their LGBTIQ brothers and sisters, it's very hard to see the reality of hate and ignorance that we all have to face every day in the U.S. It's not just Montana. It's not "just" anywhere. It's everywhere.
    And that's why we can't be silent.

    Posted by: D Gregory Smith | Aug 7, 2012 12:16:18 AM

  23. Missoula is among the few places outside of SF and a very parts of VA (because of family) that I'd ever live in the US. He doesn't even look like the same person across the two photos (check the nose shape, eyebrow shape, eye shape, and especially the skin color). This story is odd.

    Posted by: Paul R | Aug 7, 2012 12:41:51 AM

  24. I guess this was some Black Thug, or the workings of the Black church up in Montana????...LOL

    Homophobia knows no race!

    That said I hope the idiot is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

    Posted by: CHRIS DACHOCOLATEBEARCUB | Aug 7, 2012 2:03:08 AM

  25. TERRY (and others) -

    I lived in Missoula for 8 years (through 1995) and am here to tell you it is a very progressive community, kind of an "island" within Montana. Others - please don't be so quick to cast Missoula as a part of "Sh1thole Montana." It isn't. In fact, Missoula is not only very progressive, it is also widely despised throughout the rest of MT for its progressive leanings, yet holds its ground. I heard "Berkeley of the Rockies" quite a bit from other parts of Montana, and Missoula wears that proudly.

    As a gay person, I felt comfortable and accepted there. Had many a beer/burger at the "Mo Club" [Missoula Club) and it is a relaxed and welcoming place. Which is why this story is that much more disturbing to me. I would have expected the local authorities to take this crime much more seriously, and they apparently are not so inclined. Someone beats the crap out of someone else for no reason, and it's "just a misdemeanor?" Add hate-fueled provocation, and... nothing? Really?

    This should have been a story of authorities in Missoula doing the right thing, and it isn't. I don't like the sound of this. But please address the weak actions of local authorities without bashing Missoula. The community there is wonderful. The local authorities - not so much.

    Posted by: KC | Aug 7, 2012 2:53:05 AM

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