A former Marine has been arrested in the beating of two men outside a popular gay bar in Southern California last year and will face hate-crime charges for using anti-gay slurs during the attack, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Thursday.
John Kelly O’Leary, 21, was arrested Monday by police in Evergreen Park, Ill., Deputy District Attorney Gretchen Ford of the hate crimes unit said in a statement. O’Leary was discharged from the Marines on Oct. 19, about six weeks after the attack, Marine Corps’ spokesman Master Gunnery Sgt. Mark Oliva told NBC News. He will be extradited from Illinois to California to face the charges.
O’Leary and a group of friends, including other Marines, went to the Silver Fox bar in Long Beach, Calif. in the early morning hours of Sept. 3, 2012. O’Leary was accused of shouting anti-gay slurs outside the bar at closing time, which triggered the hate crime charge, said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office.
“Following a verbal exchange with one of two alleged victims, O’Leary allegedly turned and began punching the first alleged victim as he continued to shout anti-gay slurs. The victim, who suffered a concussion and a fractured hip during the altercation, was knocked unconscious,” the statement said. “As others joined in to break up the fight, O’Leary allegedly began punching and choking a second male victim before police arrived.”
A suspect was arrested on a murder charge Wednesday in the death of a man who was pushed in front of a subway train and photographed just before he was fatally struck.
Officer James Duffy said Naeem Davis, 30, has made statements implicating himself in Ki-Suck Han’s death.
Witnesses told investigators they saw a man talking to himself Monday afternoon before he approached Han at the Times Square station, got into an altercation with him and pushed him into the train’s path. Davis was taken into custody Tuesday after police viewed a security video showing a man fitting the description of the suspect working with street vendors near Rockefeller Center, police said.
Almost two years after the national uproar over health care reform, a jury has acquitted two labor union activists accused of assaulting a man selling conservative buttons outside a Cogressman Russ Carnahan town hall forum.
Service Employees International Union members Elston McCowan and Perry Molens had been accused of misdemeanor assault in the August, 2009 tussle with button salesman Kenneth Gladney. The fight caught national attention at a time when there was rampant speculation the union had been dispatched to tamp down opposition to President Obama’s health care reform.
Jurors heard conflicting testimony in the two-day trial over who actually started the fight, and they viewed video tape showing the end and aftermath of the brawl — but no video showed who threw the first punch.
The altercation itself was regrettable and was over almost before it began: the type of heated scuffle that happens countless times everyday in this crowded country, and everyday people move on with their lives.
But because this particular clash was captured on tape, and because Tea Party members went bonkers hyping it, and because right-wing media carnival barkers like Dana Loesch and Andrew Breitbart operate with no moral compass, the Gladney story blew up overnight and became a (demented) cause celebre among hardcore conservatives who hatched a weird fantasy about run-away union violence in America, not withstanding what was captured on the Gladney tape.
It’s difficult to capture just how madly the right-wing media overreacted to this story, doing its best to blow it up into a seismic, Rodney King-type of event. Fox News aired at least 20 segments mentioning Gladney, according to Nexis. Glenn Beck obsessed over the story. Breitbart penned a “I Am Kenneth Gladney” column in solidarity for the Washington Times. And CNN’s Lou Dobbs played dumb on a massive scale while hosting Gladney.
In the end, all the right-wing press had to show for their efforts were not-guilty verdicts stemming from misdemeanor charges.