A 27-year-old man from Tennessee has been fined $474 for an incident in October, 2014 that you may have witnessed yourself. He punched. He kicked. He repeated homophobic slurs. But no hate crime was lodged against attacker.
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He was arrested and charged with public intoxication and simple assault following his homophobic rant and altercation at Gate C30 of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). You may remember the incident, as it went viral (over 5M views as of this posting). See One Mile At A Time‘s post: Homophobic Drunk Man Goes Nuts At Airport!
According to the police report (viewable here) (and as seen and heard in the video):
While en route to this call, Officers were informed via the radio that the intoxicated subject punched a passenger. As I approached the C-30 gate area, I could see a white male subject matching the description that was broadcasted. This subject was talking to an older white male. I then observed the subject in question kick the older white male in the groin and hit him on the top of his head with a closed fist. At this time a group of approximately three to five male passengers tackled the subject, knocking him to the floor. I intervened to control the situation but the subject in question continued to struggle with me and the unidentified passengers while he was on the floor. Due to this subject being the obvious aggressor, I moved to place this subject under arrest for the assault that I observed. I was able to place a handcuff on the subject’s right wrist but he continued to struggle. Officer Mister arrived on scene and assisted with getting the subject’s left wrist cuffed. The subject continued to be belligerent as Officer Mister and I assisted him to his feet. As the subject was talking, I noticed his speech was slurred. I also noticed that he had glossy, blood shot eyes. The subject was deemed to be a danger to himself and others and was placed under arrest for Public Intoxication and Simple Assault.
The total fine of $474 — $262 for the Class C misdemeanor assault charge and $212 for the public intoxication ticket – was the result of the defendant not appearing for his court date, thus forfeiting his posted bond amount and closing the case, as reported by The Dallas Morning News.
The Texas Department of Public Safety comments on the reporting of the Texas Hate Crimes Act as:
The Texas Hate Crimes Act, Chapter 411.046 of the Texas Government Code, defines hate crimes as crimes that are motivated by prejudice, hatred, or advocacy of violence including, but not limited to, incidents for which statistics are or were kept under Public Law 101-275 (the Federal Hate Crimes Statistics Act). The federal law further defines hate crimes as crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity, and added in 1997, disability.
Violation against selected groups within Texas has been recognized as a threat to the safety of Texans. In an effort to quantify these incidents of bias crimes, the Texas Hate Crimes Act directed every law enforcement agency within Texas to report bias offenses to the Department of Public Safety.
In a YouTube video, you can observe:
- Arrestee kicking an older white male in the groin.
- Arrestee hitting an older white male on the top of his head with a closed fist.
- Arrestee calling his victim a “San Frisco faggot” and a “fucking queer.”
- Arrestee saying “I’m upset about this faggot right here.”
- Arrestee saying “When I get up, I’m going to beat the shit out of him.”
The arrestee may have faced a sentence to up to 180 days in jail and $2,000 fine had a hate crime enhancement been applied. (Texas “hate crime law” applies to race, color, disability, religion, national origin (or ancestry), age, gender or sexual preference-when it is determined to be the reason a victim or their property was targeted in a crime. In those cases, the punishment can be enhanced one level under certain circumstances.)
Was this justice?
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