Possible Hate Crime Stuns Davis Community

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hate-crimeThe crime is stunning – around 3 am on Sunday morning a young man was violently attacked, beaten nearly to death.  He suffered a fractured skull, bleeding on his brain, multiple fractured bones in his face and a laceration to his head that left a pool of blood on the lawn where he was beaten.

According to his family, the bruising and swelling around his eyes is so bad he still has not been able to open them, along with having a cut under one eye that went all the way though the lid. The trauma to his ear was so severe it caused his ear to swell three times its normal size and it had to be lanced to release the pressure.

The family claims that he was not in a fight or doing anything wrong, and they believe his only crime was being gay.

According to the official police report, at approximately 3:50 am, the Davis Police Department received a 9-1-1 call requesting an ambulance and the police to the 300 block of I St.

When officers arrived, they found a male subject who had sustained moderate to major injuries and was unconscious.

In addition, a second male subject was located with minor injuries. Although the investigation is continuing, officers were able to determine that there was a physical altercation that took place in the front yard of a residence where a house party had just finished.

The unconscious male was transported to the UC Davis Medical Center, where he remains hospitalized. The second male subject refused medical treatment.

“Based on statements from the residents, the Davis Police Department is investigating this incident as a possible hate crime,” the report said.

Police believe that the victim, in his thirties, may have been targeted due to his sexual orientation.

Additional information is that the victim, while suffering injuries, may be released from the hospital in a few days and may not suffer any lasting disability.

Police have not made an arrest, but one report has it that they have a known suspect.  An official at the police department indicated that additional information may be released shortly.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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25 thoughts on “Possible Hate Crime Stuns Davis Community”

  1. JimmysDaughter

    This makes me sick to my stomach. Is there an address where people could sent the victims or their families a card or letters with words of support?

  2. JimmysDaughter

    Matt, maybe someone could start a FB page In Support of Hate Crime Victims of Davis, CA? Then everyone could at least post their words of encouragement. But it would have to be monitored to remove words that were not supportive.

  3. Ryan Kelly

    I am vaguely aware of young people (20 somethings) in Davis taking a drug that causes them to hallucinate and react suddenly and violently. Apparently, the drug is available at parties around town. This is what I’m hearing.

    I do hope that Mikey recovers and the Police find the person responsible. I do know that he needs money to pay for medical expenses and support while he recovers.

  4. Davis Progressive

    after reading about the trial where the guy was charged with a hate crime for knocking a guy’s turban off during a bar fight, i was questioning the category of hate crimes, but this is really what the law was created to deal with – if it turns out the attack was motivated by the guy’s sexual orientation.

  5. hpierce

    “hate crimes” are reprehensible… that being said, would this blog have published this story if it was an assault, where the victim was WASP, and we were just talking about brutal, criminal behavior that didn’t affect a “protected class”? Whoever did the crime should be treated, and/or severely punished, no matter whether it was a “hate crime”.

    If a ‘black’, assaults a ‘white’ the day after MLK was killed, is that a “hate crime”, “justice”, or not worthy of mentioning?

  6. Davis Progressive

    hpierce: The Vanguard does not do crime beat reporting generally speaking. We do cover issues of controversy and matters of public policy, I view this as falling into that realm.

    “If a ‘black’, assaults a ‘white’ the day after MLK was killed, is that a “hate crime”, “justice”, or not worthy of mentioning? “

    Depends.

  7. medwoman

    hpierce

    I think that you are making an assumption that may not be warranted. For example, had the victim been white, and the attackers of a different ethnic group and shouting “whitey, white trash, trailer trash” and the like during the attack, David would likely have reported it as a “hate crime” because the motivation is apparent.

    It is the motivation, not the skin color of the perpetrator, that determines whether or not an action is a hate crime.

  8. David M. Greenwald

    hpierce: The Vanguard does not do crime beat reporting generally speaking. We do cover issues of controversy and matters of public policy, I view this as falling into that realm.

    “If a ‘black’, assaults a ‘white’ the day after MLK was killed, is that a “hate crime”, “justice”, or not worthy of mentioning? “

    Depends.

  9. Mr Obvious

    [quote]Depends.[/quote]
    It depends on wether David agrees with the charges the D.A.’s office files against the black man. The actually crime would not be reported.

  10. dlemongello

    I hope attention is being paid to the fact that the real life threatening aspects of head trauma can and often do appear days or weeks after the incident due to intracranial pressure and brain swelling. So although it is optimistic that indications are he will be released soon from the hospital, monitoring of symptoms such as increased respiratory rate and others, will be very important. Med woman, you may want to weigh in on this, he is far from out of danger of serious problems.
    I send my thoughts of hope to him and his family. Heal Mikey, heal. Messages and donations can be left on the facebook page Justice for Mikey.

  11. medwoman

    Depends

    I interpret the “depends” quite differently.
    A couple of possible scenarios: day after MLK is killed
    1) longstanding neighbor dispute erupts with black attacking white – probably would not be reported. Likewise white on black attack.
    2) black attacks white shouting racial slurs – probably would be reported
    3) white attacks black shouting racial slurs – probably would be reported
    4) straight attacks gay shouting gender preference based insults – probably would be reported
    5) gay attacks straight shouting gender preference based insults – well, if any one knows any example of this happening, it would probably make
    national news as well as the Vanguard.

    Again, it is demonstrated motivation, not race that makes a hate crime.

  12. mrs. words

    What makes me feel the worst about this whole situation, is that the attacker was not even aressted yet. And yes diemongello I agree with you. Mikeys not in the clear yet as far as head trama. PTSD is also a very debilitating condition. It’s so sad that these homophobic hate crimes still happen. Such ignorance. Wishing Mikey and his family the best.

  13. dlemongello

    If you are not someone who likes to use facebook and wants to send a card I am sure he will receive it if sent to the Davis Food COOP, 620 G St. as he is an employee of the COOP.

  14. hpierce

    Ok… will rephrase… had the victim been heterosexual, attacked by another heterosexual, no race, other issues been involved, would the crime have made it onto the Vanguard? Or, in reality, are we talking about a miscreant, who attacked another, who should be brought to re-hab and/or justice for their crime?

  15. David M. Greenwald

    As I said in my previous response, it is unlikely we would have covered this absent unusual circumstances. We don’t cover the normal police beat. Last year we covered hate graffiti and the noose, but wouldn’t have covered ordinary vandalism.

  16. JimmysDaughter

    Thank you posters for the info re: where to send a donation for Mikey’s medical expenses. Hope a few kind hearted medical people in Sac & Davis also help him by reducing their fees. Sounds like the police are doing a thorough job so they arrest the correct guilty party. A few years ago, a police dept. in Solano Co. arrested a person strictly on a story a mentally ill woman told the police. I hope the police do a thorough investigation before they arrest someone. Maybe keep a close eye on the suspect, but do a thorough investigation and arrest the guilty person.

  17. SouthofDavis

    hpierce wrote:

    > If a ‘black’, assaults a ‘white’ the day after MLK
    > was killed, is that a “hate crime”, “justice”, or
    > not worthy of mentioning?

    Then David wrote:

    > As I said in my previous response, it is unlikely we
    > would have covered this absent unusual circumstances.

    Knowing David’s social and political leanings I’m wondering why hpierce even asks the question.

    I know I’ll probably read a positive story about the new Pope on the ACT UP Blog before David covers a story about a gay guy hitting a straight guy.

    With that said why don’t we have equal punishment for ALL crimes (since people don’t beat people they “like” is seems like ALL crimes are “hate” crimes.)

    I think that ALL the people that commit violent crimes should be in jail for a long time (and if I was in charge I would pull most non violent offenders out of jail so we had the money to keep the violent people locked up longer).

    It never made sense to me that a biker on meth hits me in the face because he does not like my shirt does not spend as much time in jail as his friend that hits my gay friend because he does not like gay people.

    P.S. I hope they catch the guy that hit Mikey and send him to jail for a long time…

  18. JimmysDaughter

    Interesting comments today. If a Dodger fan beats a Giants fan, should that be a hate crime? If a sexist man beats a feminist, should that be a hate crime?
    Re: protected classes: do the majority of whites feel a little guilty that whites have done so many injustices to protected classes of people that a few years ago they felt a need to make a public policy? Did San Francisco police feel a tad guilty re: the White night riot on the Castro, around the time that Harvey Milk was assassinated?
    So many questions. Does data show that enhanced punishment towards gang members or hate crime criminals actually reduce these crimes?

  19. David M. Greenwald

    The question here comes down to what do you believe a hate crime is and whether it should be punished more severely than other crimes. Give two examples here. The first, would be lynchings in the south were not just murders, they were messages to the black community of terror. The second, is racist graffiti, is it simply vandalism or does it impact a broader community.

    “David covers a story about a gay guy hitting a straight guy. “

    What makes it a hate crime is not the gay guy hitting the straight guy, but doing it because of his hatred towards a class of people with the intent to terrorize a community.

    At the same time, I do think we have gone too far when we start prosecuting a case like the one we just covered where a drunk guy gets into a fight and knocks the other guy’s turban off. I don’t see that as a hate crime.

    If this attack was motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation, yes, it is a hate crime and strikes at the very heart of the gay community.

    Anyway that’s my view.

  20. JimmysDaughter

    It’s intriguing that the jury did not believe the Air Force witness that claimed to have seen the man remove, or pull, the turban from the man’s head. It would be fascinating to hear from a juror in the prior hate crime story.

  21. Alan Miller

    [i . . . ]and shouting “whitey, white trash, trailer trash” and the like during the attack . . . [/i]

    Yes, but what if they were only thinking it?

    [i]I do think we have gone too far when we start prosecuting a case like the one we just covered where a drunk guy gets into a fight and knocks the other guy’s turban off. I don’t see that as a hate crime.
    [/i]

    Glad to hear that. I find the category very sticky, but I am reassured about reasonableness and degree with the above statement.

    Having said that, I find making political arguments in the shadow of fresh and especially local tragedy generally distasteful, including my own participation in such with these words.

  22. medwoman

    “I find making political arguments in the shadow of fresh and especially local tragedy generally distasteful, including my own participation in such with these words.”

    And I can think of no better time to take a close look at ones own assumptions and listen to the viewpoints of others.

  23. SouthofDavis

    Alan wrote:

    > I find making political arguments in the
    > shadow of fresh and especially local tragedy
    > generally distasteful, including my own
    > participation in such with these words.

    I agree that making “political” points (like the GOP did with Willie Horton and the Dems have done with Matthew Shepard) are in poor taste, but disagree that using the event as a reason to talk about the topic is bad (including your participation)…

    Then medwoman wrote:

    > And I can think of no better time to
    > take a close look at ones own assumptions
    > and listen to the viewpoints of others.

    I agree 100% as long as people just want to talk about the event and ways to make them less likely to occur (vs. making political “points”) just after a tragedy is a good time to bring (non-politically motivated) people together.

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