Two sought in apparent anti-gay attack in Sacramento

Published: Tuesday, Mar. 19, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 2B
Last Modified: Tuesday, Mar. 19, 2013 - 8:18 am

Sacramento police were searching Monday for two men who subjected a midtown pedestrian to gender slurs, then struck him with a baseball bat Sunday night.

The assault occurred about 10:15 p.m. at 20th and D streets. Police said the victim, in his 40s, was walking home when he was approached by a young man in his 20s.

The young man made derogatory homosexual comments to the older man. Then, another young man made anti-gay remarks while striking the older man in the lower part of his body with a bat, according to police.

Sacramento police spokeswoman Officer Michele Gigante said the victim, whose name was not released, suffered minor injuries.

The midtown Sacramento attack occurred a week after a man was brutally beaten in Davis. Police and representatives of the gay and lesbian community, however, said they have not seen an overall increase in anti-gay violence despite the recent assaults.

About 3:50 a.m. March 10, Lawrence "Mikey" Partida, 32, of Davis was jumped by a man near Third and I streets after leaving a house party. Partida was beaten unconscious and was taken to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento with major injuries.

Witnesses said they heard anti-gay slurs directed at Partida before and after the attack.

Davis police on Thursday arrested 19-year-old Clayton Garzon of Davis on suspicion of causing great bodily injury, committing a hate crime, assault with a deadly weapon, stalking, inflicting bodily injury during the commission of a felony and committing a felony while on release from custody.

"For the community of Davis, hate crimes of this magnitude don't happen very often," said Lt. Glenn Glasgow of the Davis Police Department. Attacks involving race or sexual orientation in the community more often take the form of graffiti, he said.

Glasgow said police don't anticipate any other arrests in the attack on Partida.

Shara Perkins Murphy, executive director of the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center, said Sacramento police had notified the center of the Sunday night attack in midtown.

Murphy said the center doesn't keep local statistics on such crimes because relatively few have been reported.

"We have not seen an increase in reporting from people who come to us for support or help," she said.

A 2011 report from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs showed that the number of reported incidents of hate violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people nationally decreased 16 percent, from 2,503 in 2010 to 2,092 in 2011.

But Murphy and Ken Pierce, a spokesman for B.R.A.V.E. Society, an anti-bullying organization, said many incidents go unreported.

Pierce, a Sacramento resident, said slurs, whether racial- or gender-based, are often used by thugs looking to lash out at someone. He described it as a typical bullying tactic.

"It seems to give them permission (for the attack)," he said.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.



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