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June 22, 07
V 35 Issue 25

 
 
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Second anti-Gay attack in 10 days
Second anti-Gay attack in 10 days
Knife wielding bigot yells "Are you guys Queer?!?"

by Devin Glaser - SGN Contributing Writer

Two men were arrested and one charged with malicious harassment after three men were threatened with a knife early Wednesday morning. Brian K. Bell was booked into King County Jail after he confronted the victims at the Jack-in-the-Box drive-thru on the corner of Broadway and Denny in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. The victims, whose sexual orientations were unknown by press time, told the police they believed this was a hate crime.

According to police records, the three victims pulled into the Jack-in-the-Box drive-thru at approximately 2:00 a.m. Wednesday morning. The victims, who were not identified, were waiting in line behind the suspect's maroon Honda Accord. The suspects in the Accord began to make threatening hand gestures towards the victims. The victim in the front passenger seat of the car told the police that he was worried the suspects were going to escalate their behavior into a confrontation, so he told the driver to "lock his doors and keep his foot on the gas pedal in case they had to escape".

Without provocation, Bell, a Caucasian male, age 21, 5'10, and an unnamed accomplice, a Caucasian male, age 22, 6'1, exited their vehicle and approached the victims. The victims reported the front passenger-side window of their vehicle was malfunctioning and they were unable to close it. Bell walked up to the open window while the second suspect stood in front of the car, preventing them from leaving. According to the police report, one of the victims stated Bell had a "partially opened, partially concealed knife in his right hand, held down next to his right leg".

Seattle Police Spokesman Sean Whitcomb told the Seattle Gay News that Bell asked the victims "Are you guys Queer?" and "Do you guys suck dick?" Fearing for their safety, the victims all answered "No". The victim in the front seat later told the police that he was worried Bell would have forced his way into the car and assaulted them had he stated he was Gay.

Bell quizzed the victims on their sexual preference once again, asking "Are you sure?" before he and his accomplice returned to their car. Once inside the Accord, Bell made stabbing motions towards the victims with the fully extended knife. At this point, the driver of the victim's car backed out of the drive-thru and drove away. The victim in the back seat immediately called the police.

Police quickly responded to the crime and stopped the suspect's vehicle on E. Louisa, just east of Eastlake Ave E. The officer at the scene, Sgt. S.F. Dietrich, pulled over the suspect's Accord and detained the five individuals inside. Sgt. Dietrich found the knife in question on the 22-year-old unnamed accomplice, as well as a small "amount of green, leafy substance believed to be marijuana." More of the green, leafy substance was found on the center console of the suspect's Accord.

The victims were driven to E. Louisa by police and were able to positively identify both of their near-assailants. Bell and the unnamed suspect were taken to the East Precinct, where they refused to provide statements. A third passenger in the suspect's car, Derek Caldwell, an African-American, age 21, was arrested for an outstanding warrant.

Bell and Caldwell were both booked, and sent to King County Jail. The second unnamed suspect was released with charges pending.

"Unfortunately, these types of crimes do occur from time to time. And, in this particular instance, we were lucky enough to get victims who had the presence of mind to report it quickly to us and obtain the suspect's license plate number, enabling us to catch those individuals who committed this offense," said Whitcomb. "It's extremely valuable for victims to report these types of crimes immediately so that we have a chance to at least catch the people fleeing from the scene.

"Regardless, even if these victims called later with that information, we still would have had very good information with which to conduct our investigation. But those victims should be commended for maintaining clear thought."

This is the second violent crime committed against a member of the Gay community within the last ten days. Jason Mancillas, a 25-year-old gay man, was brutally beaten Sunday, June 10 on his way home from Neighbors Nightclub. Mancillas was punched in the face, thrown to the ground and kicked by five or six unknown assailants. He is currently recovering from wounds to his head and body, including a black eye, multiple lacerations and bruises.

"I can guarantee you that we will be looking to see if there is any connection [between the Neighbor's attack and this Jack-in-the-Box incident]," said Whitcomb.

The Seattle Police spokesman sought to allay fears going into Pride weekend, June 23 and 24. "I know that generally speaking, anytime there is a festival event or a large gathering of individuals, we do what we can to ensure that public safety is upheld," he added. "I think we are going to be there in force to make sure that people can attend and have a good time and not worry about crimes being committed."

SGN Staff Writer Robert Raketty contributed to this report

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