A drunken traveler at Dallas Fort-Worth Airport who assaulted a man he believed was gay while shouting anti-gay epithets will not face jail time and will not face hate crimes charges, Lone Star Q reports. The suspect is identified as McCleish Christmas Benham:
[Benham is] charged with public intoxication and simple assault, both class-C misdemeanors each punishable by a maximum $500 fine, but no jail time.
However, if prosecutors choose to utilize Texas’ hate crimes law, they could enhance the assault charge to a class-B misdemeanor. Class-B misdemeanors are punishable by 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine per offense.
Reports of the assault document that Benham belligerently shouted that he was angry about "queers": “That’s what I’m upset about. This faggot right here,” he said referring to another passenger.
Police today have released their official report on the incident. After police were called to Benham's terminal as a result of his intoxicated behavior, the report indicates Benham called a man a "'San Frisco Faggot' and then punched him in his right eye." At that point, "Benham then began threatening a different male passenger." When asked by police arriving on the scene if he had had anything to drink, Benham replied, “Yes, 100 drinks."
Read the police report for yourself, AFTER THE JUMP...