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Volume 34
Issue 39
 
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San Diego Pride bashers sentenced
San Diego Pride bashers sentenced
by Rex Wockner - SGN Contributing Writer

SAN DIEGO, CA - Three men connected with the baseball-bat attacks on six Gay men outside the city's July 29 LGBT Pride Festival were sentenced to prison Sept. 25.

James Carroll, 24, pleaded guilty to wielding a baseball bat, attempted murder, assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, and commission of a hate crime. He was jailed for 11 years.

Lyonn Tatum, 18, pleaded guilty to stabbing one of the victims, assault with a deadly weapon, assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, and commission of a hate crime. He was sent to jail for eight years.

Kenneth Lincoln, 24, pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact by shaving Tatum's head and tattooing him to change his appearance. He was jailed for two years and eight months.

The men were taken from the court room to begin serving their sentences.

In separate proceedings, a 15-year-old boy who took part in the attacks has pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and hate-crime charges. He has not yet been sentenced. He faces up to 13 years in juvenile detention.

The six victims were bashed in five incidents around 10:45 p.m. as they departed a Pride Festival main-stage concert by 80s pop singer Deborah Gibson. The victims and witnesses said the assailants shouted antiGay slurs as they beat the men.

One victim, Oscar Foster, almost died. He had nearly every bone in his face broken and had to undergo reconstructive surgery. He only recently was released from the hospital.

On Aug. 4, more than 2,000 people rallied and marched in the Gay Hillcrest district to protest the bashings.

They were joined by Mayor Jerry Sanders, Police Chief William Lansdowne, City Attorney Michael Aguirre, Lesbian City Councilwoman Toni Atkins, Lesbian State Sen. Christine Kehoe, Gay Chula Vista Mayor Steve Padilla, State Assemblywoman Lori SaldaƱa, U.S. Rep. Bob Filner, and other officials and Gay community leaders. Chula Vista is San Diego's largest suburb.

Sanders and Lansdowne received standing ovations - Sanders, who is a Republican, for his strongly proGay statements to the media following the attacks, and Lansdowne and police detectives for working 40 hours nonstop to catch the assailants.

"The attacks ... outside the Pride Festival were cowardly and despicable," Sanders told the rally. "Clearly these violent criminals wanted to push these men that were injured back into the closet and, by doing so, they wanted to push the entire LGBT community back into the closet. We won't allow that to occur."

Chief Lansdowne told the rally that the Gay community has "never asked for anything more than fairness, justice and freedom of choice - the essence of what the Constitution guarantees everybody."

"I found some of our very best people [and said] 'I want this solved in 48 hours,'" Lansdowne said.

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