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3 Philadelphia Gay Bash Suspects Turn Themselves in; One is Daughter of Police Chief - VIDEO

Knott

Philip Williams, 24, and Katherine Knott, 24, two of the three suspects charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and criminal conspiracy for last week's brutal assault on two gay men in Center City, Philadelphia, turned themselves in early this morning, ABC6 reports. Arrest warrants were issued yesterday.

AttackThe news station also confirms that Knott is the daughter of Chalfont, Bucks County Police Chief Karl Knott:

At their Southampton home, no one answered but when we asked several neighbors about the charges against Knott, off camera, they would only say they're not surprised.

A third suspect, Kevin Harrigan, 26, turned himself in at 9 am.

Watch ABC6's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

NBC Philadelphia reports:

Williams, 24, didn't speak as he arrived at Central Detectives but his attorney Fortunato Perri, Jr. did comment on the case as did Knott's attorney.

Perri told reporters Wednesday that the case was not related to anyone's sexual orientation. He said it was instead what he called a "mutual confrontation" in which his client "was not the aggressor." Knott's attorney said his client played no role in the confrontation.

Those involved will not be charged with a hate crime as Pennsylvania's hate crime laws do not cover sexual orientation.

Yesterday, lawmakers held a rally at Pennsylvania's capitol pushing for passage of a statewide hate crimes law. Out Rep. Brian Sims was on hand and spoke passionately, urging lawmakers to protect LGBT citizens. Another lawmaker, state Senator Jim Ferlo, came out of the closet at the event, telling those gathered, "Hundreds of people know I'm gay. I just never made an official declaration. I never felt I had to wear a billboard on my forehead. But I'm gay. Get over it. I love it. It's a great life."

Continue reading "3 Philadelphia Gay Bash Suspects Turn Themselves in; One is Daughter of Police Chief - VIDEO" »


3 To Be Charged In Philadelphia Gay Bashing

Philly

Arrest warrants have been issued for three individuals accused of savagely attacking a gay couple in Philadelphia's city center on September 11. ABC 6 reports:

The accused are Philip Williams, 24, Kevin Harrigan, 26, and Katherine Knott, 24, all of Bucks County, according to the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office...

Each will be charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and criminal conspiracy...

The two victims suffered serious facial injuries. They claim they were targeted for being homosexual and savagely beaten.

Persons of interest being interviewed by police last week claimed it was a mutual fight, sources told Action News.

Also last week, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia released a statement acknowledging that several former students of the Archbishop Wood High School in Warminster, many 2007 graduates, are suspected in the attack.

The assault cannot be prosecuted as a hate crime because Pennsylvania does not currently have a hate crimes law on the books that specifically protects LGBT citizens. Looking to change that, state lawmakers held a rally today in Harrisburg to introduce and drump up support for new hate crimes legislation. Rep. Brian Sims spoke out, blasting lawmakers for not acting sooner. State Sen. Jim Ferlo, who authored the new bill, also took the opportunity to publicly come out.

District Attorney Seth Williams spoke out about the atrocious crime. From NBC 10:

“I would like to thank the police for their thorough investigation and the public for the outpouring of information and tips in this case,” said Williams. “This vicious attack shocked the entire country. An assault on people because of their sexual orientation has no place in Philadelphia.”


Philly Police Wrap Up Gay Bashing Investigation, Commissioner Says There's 'Sufficient Evidence' to Press Charges

Attack

Philadelphia police have concluded their investigation into the September 11 attack on a gay couple in Center City - with Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey saying there is "sufficient evidence to have charges placed against some of the individuals there."

The Inquirer reports:

He said police were set to meet with prosecutors Monday afternoon to present the investigative file.

Police had initially termed the incident a hate crime and an assault, but Pennsylvania law does not cover crimes motivated by sexual orientation under its hate-crimes statute.

Ramsey said the current statute "obviously, in my opinion, needs to change, and change very quickly" to cover sexual orientation.

Earlier today, we reported that Pennsylvania State Rep. Brendan Boyle would attempt to pass an LGBT-inclusive hate crimes bill as early as tomorrow. A rally and press conference are planned at the state capitol tomorow as well. 


PA Rep. Brendan Boyle Says Hate Crime Bill Could Pass As Early As Tomorrow, Rally Planned at Capitol

A bill that would expand Pennsylvania's hate crimes statutes to include LGBT citizens could pass the state legislature as early as tomorrow, claims Democratic State Rep. Brendan Boyle - the legislator who introduced the bill last year.

BoylePhiladelphia reports:

"Since it's been introduced and co-sponsored and referred to committee, it could get final passage as early as Tuesday," says Boyle, who has called a Harrisburg press conference on the subject for 11 a.m. Tuesday morning with State Representative Larry Farnese. [...]

"It has been a year-and-a-half since I introduced it, and the Republican leadership has shown no willingness to move any piece of legislation that touches sexual orientation," Boyle says. "But in the wake of this event, there's a better chance of it happening now than months from now, when this issue will have receded from the news."

Boyle also said he's spoken to a number of GOP legislators who indicated they would support the bill's passage.

The Tuesday press conference will coincide with a rally planned in the Pennsylvania Capitol Rotunda to advocate for the bill's passage. The renewed push for the hate crimes bill came after a a brutal attack on a gay couple September 11th in Center City, Philadelphia.

Previously, "PA Rep. Brian Sims Says He'll Bring Philly Gay Bash Victims to Capitol to Pass Hate Crime Law" [tlrd]


Pennsylvania Gubernatorial Candidate Tom Wolf Weighs in on Philadelphia Gay Bashing

Tom wolf

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf, who is challenging Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett on the ballot this November, has released a statement in response to last week's brutal attack on a gay couple in Philadelphia. 

Said Wolf:

The recent vicious attack perpetrated on two men in Philadelphia is incomprehensible and those responsible should be severely punished. We, as a society and a community, cannot stand for these assaults on our individual freedoms. No one, no matter their race, gender, or sexual orientation, should ever have to live in fear of walking down the street.

AttackWilliam Penn founded Pennsylvania on the basis of fairness and tolerance and, I believe, we must continue to be a place that pays faithful tribute to those good values. I know that all people – regardless of sexual orientation – should be treated equally under the law. As governor, I will work to level the playing field by promoting legislation like House Bill 300 that makes sexual orientation and gender identity and expression a protected class and House Bill 745 that amends Title 18 of the Ethnic Intimidation Act to include sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity. And I will be a vocal advocate for the right of all Pennsylvanians to be treated with dignity and respect.

I wish a full and speedy recovery for the two victims, and I hope the people responsible will be brought to justice swiftly.

Sexual orientation is currently not included in the state's hate crimes statues. Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Sims has already pledged to bring the victims to the state legislature and try to pass a sexual orientation-inclusive hate crimes bill. Sims will also help organize a public rally next Thursday to "support the victim and call for the passage of hate crime legislation." 

Previously, "Philadelphia Archbishop Releases Statement Responding to Catholic Coach's Involvement in Gay Bashing" [tlrd]


Philadelphia Archbishop Releases Statement Responding to Catholic Coach's Involvement in Gay Bashing

Coach

Yesterday, we reported that an assistant basketball coach at a Pennsylvania Catholic high school was fired (technically forced to resign) for his alleged role in the brutal attack on a gay couple last Thursday in Philadelphia that left one victim with facial fractures and a jaw that had to be wired shut. 

Now, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, led by Archbishop Charles Chaput, has released a statement in response to the attack, writing:

Charles chaput"A key part of a Catholic education is forming students to respect the dignity of every human person whether we agree with them or not. What students do with that formation when they enter the adult world determines their own maturity and dignity, or their lack of it. Violence against anyone, simply because of who they are, is inexcusable and alien to what it means to be a Christian. A recent beating incident in Center City allegedly involved, in some way, a part-time coach at Archbishop Wood High School. After inquiries by school leadership, the coach was contacted regarding the matter and he resigned. Archbishop Wood's handling of the matter was appropriate, and I support their efforts to ensure that Catholic convictions guide the behavior of their whole school community, including their staff." 

Sexual orientation is currently not included in the state's hate crimes statues. Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Sims has already pledged to bring the victims to the state legislature and try and get a hate crimes bill passed. Sims will also help organize a public rally next Thrusday to "support the victim and call for the passage of hate crime legislation." 


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