Slew of Violence Against Gay Men In Long Beach, At Least One Incident Classified As Hate Crime

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From the "Long Beach Condemns Recent Hate Crimes" Facebook page...
After a recent spree of attacks on gay men in Long Beach, people are taking action. 

The Long Beach Police Department amped security in the city's Broadway Corridor -- the section of downtown known for its thriving gay community, where all three incidents occurred.

And, the community itself plans to convene tomorrow evening at a coffee shop in the area to decry the violence, which many are calling hate crimes.

On July 24, a man allegedly walked up to another man, asked if he was gay, and then beat him after the victim answered in the affirmative, says Sgt. Rico Fernandez, a spokesman for the police department. Police arrested a suspect, Jorge Jhovanoy Ibarria, that night and the  District Attorney's office has filed one felony count of battery with a hate crime enhancement against Ibarria, Fernandez says.

A few days later, a male suspect approached another man who was walking on a sidewalk in the area, Fernandez says. The two men exchanged some words and then the suspect hit the victim and left, Fernandez says. The suspect used some slurs during the exchange, but police don't believe the violence started because the victim was gay, Fernandez says. Therefore, police are considering it a hate incident, but not a hate crime. 

The third incident, which happened Sunday, involved two groups. Two suspects approached a group of gay men and made some derogatory comments, which led to a fistfight, Fernandez says. The two suspects then left, but came back with more people and assaulted the victims. Police haven't classified the incident yet, as the investigation is ongoing, Fernandez says. Nobody is currently in custody for the second or third incidents. 

Despite the proximity of the incidents -- all within a few days of one another and all in the same basic area -- the police don't think they're related. "We think it's just an unfortunate series of events," Fernandez says, adding that hate crimes are very rare in Long Beach. "This year alone we've only had four hate crimes."

"We have extra patrols. We beefed up patrol in the area. Obviously the Long Beach PD is concerned with protecting all citizens equally," Fernandez says.

A Facebook event titled "Long Beach Condemns Recent Hate Crime" invites people to show up at Hot Java coffee house, which is located in the general area of the attacks, tomorrow at 6 p.m. to stand in solidarity against the violence.  

The Facebook page says Mayor Bob Foster, Councilman Robert Garcia and Eric Avila, one of the victims, will all be at the event tomorrow.

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7 comments
Jack
Jack

Huh. I was surprised that the one victim's answer to a random stranger on a Long Beach street asking "Are you gay?" wasn't "None of your fuckin' business". That it wasn't, IS pretty 'gay'.

Dfgergg
Dfgergg

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Senior
Senior

You would think the GAY GUYS at the Liberal OC would be all over this, since they live there. Instead they are chasing stories of soccer stadiums.

Dbo90274
Dbo90274

Maybe he thought he'd get a little hand action if he said yes?

Bill T.
Bill T.

Wow, nicely done. I'm always impressed with how the trolls can pack so much wrong into two sentences.

Senior
Senior

Thanks.

Except for the troll part. I am pretty sure you have me mistaken for a GG Blvd. Bookstore guy on his lunch from the Health Department.

Bill T.
Bill T.

Sorta missed the point, didja?

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