Aug 17, 2007
V 35 Issue 33

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2 more Gay-bashings in Seattle
2 more Gay-bashings in Seattle
Councilmembers Rasmussen and Clark to meet with Police Chief about Belltown Gay-bashing

by Robert Raketty - SGN Staff Writer

The Seattle Gay News has learned of two recent Gay-bashings that took place in Seattle, one in Pioneer Square and the other on Capitol Hill. In each case, the victims were physically and verbally assaulted by their attackers.

According to court documents, Michael Sullivan was standing in front of a club in the 150 block of S. Washington Street with his friend Amanda Hubbert at 1:37 a.m. on Sunday, July 22. They had exited the club and were waiting for a friend who had left to get a car. A person who has never been identified punched Sullivan in the back of the head. Moments later, a male unknown to the victim or his friend, later identified as Monny (a.k.a. Monnypanareay) Sue, approached Sullivan and asked him 'Are you Gay?" After Sullivan replied, "Yes," he was immediately punched in the face. Sullivan fell to the ground unconscious. Sue fled in the direction of three off-duty Seattle Police Department detectives who had witnessed the incident. One arrested the suspect while another provided aid to the victim.

In a statement, one of the detectives detailed how he first saw the victim and his friend standing in front of the club. He then noticed Sue walk slowly past the victim, turn and "sucker punch" him. He also said that when Sullivan was punched, he was not in a fighting or arguing posture, nor was he armed. He seemed totally unaware and caught off guard by the punch. Sullivan was transported to Swedish Medical Center where he received treatment for his injuries. The next day, Sullivan told an investigating detective that he had lost a tooth, which will require surgery to replace, and has a fracture to the bone in the gum area. Sue remains in jail since charges were filed on July 24 and is being held on $25,000 bail. Trial is set to begin on September 24. His criminal history includes two charges of auto theft in 1999 and 2001 and Assault in the Third Degree in 2004.

On Sunday, August 12, at about 2:05 a.m., Christopher Petty was standing in line inside the Shell Food Mart at 1500 Broadway Ave. on Capitol Hill wearing a shirt with the word "Queer," printed on the front and back. The man in front of him, later identified in court documents as Cerril Deonvandaz Turner, a 33-year-old African American man, announced in a loud voice, "I hate fucking faggots." The suspect then turned to Petty and asked, "Are you a fucking faggot?" The police report indicates that Petty tried to calm Turner down but without success. At one point, Petty asked the suspect if he likes to fight faggots? Turner responded by spitting on him and his friend and then, threw a punch at Petty. The punch only grazed the Petty but hit his friend.

The suspect was detained until police arrived. After the incident, the victim told police he was intimidated by Turner and believes he was a target because of his sexual orientation.

Turner is currently in custody and was under the supervision of the Department of Corrections at the time of the incident due to unrelated charges. His known criminal history includes Threats in 1989, Assault in the Fourth Degree in 1993, Rape in the Third Degree in 1995, Assault in the Fourth Degree in 1998, Intimidating a Public Servant in 1999, Assault in the Second Degree and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in 2002.

In all, the SGN has learned of five Gay-bashings in recent months.

Jason Mancillas suffered lacerations and bruises to his face and body, a black eye and a wound to his head after being brutally beaten by a group of as many as six men during the early morning hours of Sunday, June 10. He was walking home with his boyfriend from a Capitol Hill Gay bar when the attack occurred. Before the attack began, he heard a stranger behind him say, "I'm sick of these fucking faggots." The men remain at large.

On June 20, Michael Volkman, Alberto Medrano and Troy Maravilla, were threatened by two men identified as Brian Kenneth Bell, 21-years-old, and Benjamin Thomas-Winfred Davis, 22, while waiting in the Jack-in-the-Box drive-thru at 100 Broadway Ave. E. on Capitol Hill. Bell, while brandishing a knife, asked, "Are you guys Queer? Do you suck dick?" Charges are pending against Bell, who has posted a $2,500 bond, and Davis, who is currently at large. A warrant has been issued for Davis' arrest. Last week, the SGN reported on a Gay-bashing in the 2200 Block of First Avenue in Belltown that left Michael Wrenn with a bloody nose and cuts to his chin and forearm. He also developed two black eyes and bruises on his body as a result of the violence. His friend, Aaron Hudy, who was standing beside Wrenn at the time of the Gay-bashing also suffered a bruise on his arm. The male attacker asked the men, "What, are you guys fags?" before beginning his attack.

Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Michael Hogan, a 23-year veteran of the King County Prosecutor's Office, has been working on malicious harassment cases since the late 1980's. He says the recent rash of Gay-bashings is consistent with what he has seen in recent years and may not represent a rise in malicious harassment cases.

"For the most part, it seems to rise and fall somewhat sporadically. Like a lot of crimes, it does that," he said. "It seems that around Gay Pride there is a rise in malicious harassment cases, at least reporting wise, in the last couple years. It is hard to know what to make of that.

"It seems like what I see is a lot of people intoxicated who stumble into a Gay community or Gay situation that they are not accustomed to and they act inappropriately. So, it is hard to say, but it seems to me that it is somewhat of a constant."

When asked about three of the attacks, which took place on Capitol Hill, Hogan shared his view of the situation as a lifelong resident of Seattle. "I think that, in part, it is because the Gay community is known to gather in and around Capitol Hill. I think that is a factor," said Hogan. "It is my experience living here, growing up here my whole life, that there seems to be a greater mixture in the Pike/Pine corridor than there used to be.... So, I think both of those things are contributing factors as to why these things happen in or around Capitol Hill.

"For many, many years, there were only Gay establishments in the nightlife of the Pike/Pine corridor. Today, it is packed with coffee shops, retail outlets and all kinds of nightlife. It is drawing people into the Pike/Pine corridor that might not otherwise come there.... I think what is drawing them into the neighborhood, for the most part, is the Pike/Pine corridor."

Openly Gay Seattle City Councilmembers Tom Rasmussen and Sally Clark will meet with Seattle Police Chief R. Gil Kerlikowske on Friday to discuss the latest incident in Belltown, which had been labeled as an assault and not as a bias crime. The councilmembers hope to hear from Kerlikowske himself about what he knows about the case and what steps might be taken to ensure bias crimes get prompt attention from the his department.

"Sally and I have discussed this one case. Sally suggested that we meet with the Chief. I agreed we should do that," said Rasmussen. "So, I asked him to meet with us to review what he knows about this case and, more broadly, what the protocols, procedures and policies are for writing up an incident report, particularly when there is a possibility that it is a malicious harassment type of crime. "We want to find out what the procedure is in these types of cases and whether or not that was followed in this case.... If there was a failure to follow proper reporting procedures, then, I would hope there would be training or re-training of the officer or officers involved. Maybe there needs to be a reminder or a refresher of the requirements supplied to the people of the department, with regards to reporting."

Rasmussen said he believes the SPD and King County Prosecutor's Office do a good job in investigating and prosecuting bias crimes. However, he said he was considering calling a community forum or community meeting to discuss their handling of malicious harassment cases. "I think people want to know if we are responding only to the high profile cases or what," he said. "I want to have a meeting were the SPD can come and talk about what their procedures are and the Prosecutor's Office can talk about how they handle these types of cases."
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