Hate Crime Hub




Army Vet Gets 10 Years Probation For Brutal Attack On Two Gay Men In Downtown Austin: VIDEO

Austin

An Army veteran will serve 10 years of probation for brutally assaulting two gay men on Pride weekend in downtown Austin in 2012. 

Lambert Borgardt (right), who pleaded guilty Wednesday to aggravated assault, must also complete 200 hours of community service. Borgardt faces trial on a second count of assault in connection with the attack next year. 

Andrew Oppleman (above) and his friend, Nick Soret, were in line at a pizza truck near Austin's gay entertainment district on Sept. 21, 2012, when Borgadt reportedly thought Soret was checking him out. Borgardt became enraged and punched both men in the face. 

BorgadtOppleman lost nine teeth in the attack, which was captured on surveillance video, and Soret suffered a broken nose. Oppleman and Soret told police they felt they were targeted due to their sexual orientation, but the case wasn't prosecuted as an anti-gay hate crime.  

In court on Wednesday, Borgardt apologized for the attack, according to a report from KXAN-TV

“I apologize from the bottom of my heart, and I’ll do whatever it takes, whatever I can, whatever can work to pay you guys back for that,” said Borgardt.

However, Oppleman told KVUE-TV he doesn't believe Borgardt's apology was sincere: 

"The only part of closure I feel may not be complete is the perpetrator, Lambert Bogardt, his lack of showing true remorse for what he did, but more remorse for the predicament and the situation he's in," said Oppleman.

Borgardt's attorney, Bill Hines, said post-traumatic stress disorder could have been a factor in the attack:

“We’re pleased that the judge did the difficult work of balancing the really serious injuries with the incredible lifetime of honor and service [Borgardt] had in the military,” said Hines.

The Austin LGBT community held a march against hate crimes in response to the attack, and a local dentist provided Oppelman with free reconstructive surgery. 

Watch the reports from KVUE-TV and KXAN-TV (which includes the surveillance video), AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading "Army Vet Gets 10 Years Probation For Brutal Attack On Two Gay Men In Downtown Austin: VIDEO" »


Montana Teen Arrives Home To Find Anti-gay Slur Spray Painted On His Door

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A bisexual Montana teen found a gay slur spray painted on his trailer door after spending the night at a friend's house reports Billings Gazette18-year-old Cain Stacy arrived home in the early hours of the morning to find the slur "fag," still wet, painted on the front door of his trailer. Stacy is not so much upset about being called the slur, but is moreso upset that someone had the nerve to deface his family's property with it.

Stacy's mother, Hiedi Hanna, lives next door and owns both properties. Hanna and Stacy reported the incident with police, but both are disappointed with how the case is being handled. Stacy informed the police of a potential suspect, but Billings Police Department Lt. Kevin Iffland said the suspect denied any involvement and consented to a search that yielded no evidence of their involvement. Iffland said the crime is classified as a criminal mischief with a bias motivation noted against bisexuals; the case is currently closed because police ran out of leads in the case however, should the department receive tips or other news about the case, then they will reopen it.

Until then, Stacy is stuck with the slur on his door; it's currently too cold to apply a fresh coat of paint to the door because it won't stick. For the time being Stacy is covering the slur with a plastic bag. "I just want it off my damn door," Stacy said. 

The Montana Board of Crime Control finds that overall hate crimes are decreasing over the last few years although there are occasional spikes; in the year of 2006, Montana saw a high of 154 reported hate crimes, while the last two years have only seen between 40-50 reported hate crimes. Out of 49 reported hate crimes in 2012, only 12 of them involved sexual orientation biases.


Employees At San Antonio Gay Bar Brutally Attacked In Apparent Hate Crime: VIDEO

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Two employees at a popular San Antonio gay bar were brutally attacked in an apparent hate crime as they left work early Wednesday. 

SaintDaniel Ramos, an employee at the Saint Nightclub, said two men pulled up in a black Silverado and asked for jumper cables. When Ramos' co-worker turned his back to look for the jumper cables, the men attacked him. From Fox 29

"Random guys asking for our help, we were willing to help them, but then all of a sudden, it was an attack,” Ramos said.

He said the guys started punching his friend.

"I heard the commotion and went around to try to help, got hit in the face by the second guy,” Ramos explained. “Fortunately, I only got hit once. Nothing as extreme as my friend."

The friend did not want to be identified, but he told us the attackers yelled gay slurs while they pounded on them. Ramos believes his sexual orientation is the reason behind the beating.

Ramos suffered a gash below his left eye, and his co-worker reportedly was admitted to a trauma unit. 

The attack was caught on surveillance video, but the suspects are still at large and San Antonio police haven't indicated whether they're treating the incident as an anti-gay hate crime: 

"I come to work thinking that it's a gay establishment, I'm a gay individual, my boss is gay, I'm supposed to feel safe,” Ramos said. ... 

"I've never, never been assaulted this way,” he said. “Stuff like this really needs to stop. It really does."

Watch Fox 29's report, AFTER THE JUMP ...

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Philly Gay Bashing Suspects Held On All Charges, Will Be Back In Court On January 6

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The three suspects accused in a heinous attack on a gay couple in Philadelphia on September 11 will stand trial on charges of felony assault and conspiracy, among other charges, Philadelphia Magazine reports. As previously reported, the defendants are 26-year-old Kevin Harrigan, 24-year-old Kathryn Knott, and 24-year-old Philip Williams. Today's preliminary hearing was to determine whether the prosecution had met the burden of proof required to charge and try the defendants. Judge Charles Hayden Found they had:

The defendants, who previously pleaded not guilty and remain out on bail, appeared in the courtroom with their families, with Knott’s mother crying throughout many points of the proceeding. State Representative Brian Sims was also in attendance in the courtroom, which was crowded but not full.

Two witnesses testified today for the prosecution. Geoff Nagle observed the attack from a third floor window and stated that he heard "cursing and yelling in male and female voices, including language such as 'fucking faggot.'" The other witness was one of the two victims, Zachary Hesse:

Hesse said that when the pair encountered the group at 16th and Chancellor, Harrigan asked, "Is that your fucking boyfriend?" "I said, 'Yeah, that is my fucking boyfriend," he testified. "'Do you have a problem with that?'" Then he testified that Harrigan said, "'So you're a dirty fucking faggot?' So I approached him and said, 'Maybe I am a dirty fucking faggot.' He pushed me, I pushed him."

Then Hesse says that he was surrounded by the group. "I was terrified," he testified. "It's scary to have people surround you, and your arms are being held."

Before closing the hearing Judge Hayden wished all of the defendants "good luck."

Formal arraignment for the plaintiffs is scheduled for January 6th.


Philly Gay Bashing Suspects Held On All Charges, Will Be Back In Court On January 6

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The three suspects accused in a heinous attack on a gay couple in Philadelphia on September 11 will stand trial on charges of felony assault and conspiracy, among other charges, Philadelphia Magazine reports. As previously reported, the defendants are 26-year-old Kevin Harrigan, 24-year-old Kathryn Knott, and 24-year-old Philip Williams. Today's preliminary hearing was to determine whether the prosecution had met the burden of proof required to charge and try the defendants. Judge Charles Hayden Found they had:

The defendants, who previously pleaded not guilty and remain out on bail, appeared in the courtroom with their families, with Knott’s mother crying throughout many points of the proceeding. State Representative Brian Sims was also in attendance in the courtroom, which was crowded but not full.

Two witnesses testified today for the prosecution. Geoff Nagle observed the attack from a third floor window and stated that he heard "cursing and yelling in male and female voices, including language such as 'fucking faggot.'" The other witness was one of the two victims, Zachary Hesse:

Hesse said that when the pair encountered the group at 16th and Chancellor, Harrigan asked, "Is that your fucking boyfriend?" "I said, 'Yeah, that is my fucking boyfriend," he testified. "'Do you have a problem with that?'" Then he testified that Harrigan said, "'So you're a dirty fucking faggot?' So I approached him and said, 'Maybe I am a dirty fucking faggot.' He pushed me, I pushed him."

Then Hesse says that he was surrounded by the group. "I was terrified," he testified. "It's scary to have people surround you, and your arms are being held."

Before closing the hearing Judge Hayden wished all of the defendants "good luck."

Formal arraignment for the plaintiffs is scheduled for January 6th.


Philly Gay Bashing Suspects Due In Court Today: VIDEO

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The trio of individuals accused in the September 11 assault on a gay couple in City Center, Philadelphia, are in court today for a preliminary hearing. The defendants, 26-year-old Kevin Harrigan, 24-year-old Kathryn Knott, and 24-year-old Philip Williams, are accused of aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and criminal conspiracy. All three have plead not guilty. 

From Philadelphia Magazine: 

Here’s what we can expect to happen: The case will be brought before a municipal court judge to determine if there was probable cause to arrest the suspects in September. Attorney for Kevin Harrigan, Josh Scarpello, tells me, “we won’t decide the truth of the matter in that first hearing. It is a probable-cause hearing to establish if the case should go to trial.”

If the case goes to trial — and if no plea bargain is reached — Scarpello suggests that there might not be a trial date until well into the new year. "The earliest would be February or March," he says. "If it's scheduled to be a jury trial, it could take even longer."

The AP also reports that the defendants contest the plaintiff's version of the assault: "Defense lawyers insist that both parties played a role in the encounter, and say the men's sexual orientation wasn't an issue." Despite these claims, reports have abounded that the fight was preceded by homophobic slurs hurled against the victims by the defendants. You’ll also recall the social media sleuthing done by activist Scott Wooledge who dug into accused attacker Kathryn Knott’s Twitter account and found a history of homophobic remarks. 

Social media played a large role in the case from the onset, with the individuals being identified by social media sleuths looking to hunt down the perpetrators of the heinous assault. 

The accused will not face hate crimes charges as Pennsylvania does not currently have hate crimes legislation on the books that covers sexual orientation. However, that may change if State Rep. Brian Sims and State Sen. Jim Ferlo have their way.

Watch a news report on the hearing, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Philly Gay Bashing Suspects Due In Court Today: VIDEO" »


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