A Log Cabin Republicans member was assaulted and called a “faggot” early Saturday during an altercation inside a bar at Dallas’ Hilton Anatole hotel, where the gay GOP group is holding its National Convention, according to Dallas police.
Sr. Cpl. Kevin Janse, a spokesman for DPD, said the incident isn’t currently being treated as a hate crime because the suspect’s use of the word “faggot” was provoked by the Log Cabin member and his friends.
Janse said both the Log Cabin member and the suspect were intoxicated when the incident occurred at about 1 a.m. The Log Cabin member and his friends were whistling at the suspect, who got offended and shoved the victim, Janse said.
The Log Cabin member suffered minor injuries, described as a cut to his nose. The suspect was cited for class-C misdemeanor assault but was not taken into custody.
“Two groups of intoxicated individuals got into a verbal argument,” Janse said in an e-mail Saturday afternoon. “Supposedly the victim and his friend were whistling at the suspect, who took offense and shoved the victim. Officers interviewed both parties and made a class-C assault. Which is not a jailable offense if the two parties can be separated, which they were. Detectives are interviewing all parties as we speak but there is no indication of a hate crime based on what both parties are telling detectives. Just two drunk people.”
Asked to confirm rumors that the suspect used the word “faggot,” Janse said: “Yes. that word was used, but it was provoked.” Asked whether he meant that the word was provoked by the whistling, he said: “Yes. And comments about them ‘looking good.'”
Laura Martin, the police department’s LGBT liaison officer, said detectives were conducting follow-up interviews today with the suspect, the victim and witnesses. She added that the use of the word “faggot” doesn’t automatically make the incident a hate crime.
“The crime has to be motivated, has to start, because of the suspect’s bias,” Martin said. “‘In and of itself, calling a name during a fight doesn’t necessarily indicate that it was motivated by bias.”
Dallas Voice is withholding the names of both the suspect and the victim until more information becomes available.
UPDATE: Martin said late Saturday that the victim has opted not to press charges, meaning the case will be dropped.
Also, the victim contacted Dallas Voice via email Sunday morning and gave us his side of the story. The victim asked that his name continue to be withheld:
“I don’t want this to get more publicity but am concerned that your version, which is based on an inaccurate and misleading police report, is going to get more attention than it should,” the victim wrote. “The police treated this as a standard bar fight when instead the guy came up behind me and smashed my face into a glass tumbler while I was seated at a table with several other guys. I declined to prosecute because the suspect apologized in person and seemed to be sincere — plus it was clear any court experience would be a long and arduous process. … (As a side matter, I can’t believe how many commenters already are taking the position that I deserved it.)”