Just up the road in Shreveport, La., a 52-year-old gay man was severely beaten with a pool cue in a possible hate crime at a downtown bar, according to KLSA 12. The victim, John Skaggs, is recovering at home after being hospitalized with several fractures to his face. The suspect, William Payne, is charged with attempted second-degree murder in the unprovoked attack, which was caught on surveillance videotape:
“He’s going to have some pretty serious reconstructive surgery, broken jaw, and broken bone that holds his eye socket,” said the manager and owner of the Sandbar, Tim Huck. …
“It was totally 100 percent a hate crime for this sexual orientation,” said Huck.
The bar provided police with video surveillance. Huck says it’s disturbing, and shows Payne who is a large man, breaking the cue stick over Skaggs’ face with one powerful blow.
Shreveport police believe that the video will be powerful evidence of the alleged attack, and management at the Sandbar believes it will also help distinguish between a crime and a hate crime.
“At no point in time had he talked to the man that attacked him, bumped him. After watching the video and from witnesses they hadn’t even made any form of eye contact or anything,” said Huck.
Huck considers Skaggs a friend, and says he can’t understand why someone would want to hurt him.
“Literally just enjoying a drink, in here four or five times a week, and never bothers anyone,” said Huck.