A Straight man and his friend were attacked on Halloween night in the parking lot of a San Diego South Park-area 7-Eleven store because one was dressed as the late gay Freddy Mercury of the rock group “Queen”. Both men were attacked after being called a number of homosexual slurs. But police investigators said they do not believe the attack was a hate crime because the victim and his friend who was also attacked are not gay. However, the men who were attacked are instating that it be treated as such.
“[even though] Neither of us are gay, this was a hate crime.”
Attorney Gretchen Von Helms said, “It does not matter if the victim is gay or not because they were attacked because they were perceived as being gay, so what that does [is] it puts the community at risk — the community of, say, gay males who would be in fear that they would be attacked for being who they are.”
The California Penal Code defines a hate crime as a criminal act because of an actual or perceived characteristic of the victim.
That same night just a few blocks away a gay man was also attacked and beaten while walking his dogs. and in that case also the SDPD is having “issues” labeling it a hate crime/
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