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Third Salt Lake-Area Gay Man Attacked In Two Weeks

Jim Burroway

September 9th, 2011

Police in American Fork, a suburb community south of Salt Lake City, are investigating an attack on a hair salon owner as he was taking out the trash at 12:45 a.m. early Thursday morning. Police say that he was beaten by two or three assailants as they uttered gay slurs. The victim, 32-year-old Cameron Nelson, was treated at a hospital for multiple injuries including a broken nose. Police are investigating.

Two weeks ago, two gay men in Salt Lake City were attacked in separate incidents. One man, Dane Hall, suffered a broken jaw and lost six teeth when his attackers “curb stomped” him. Incredibly, SLC police are refusing to regard either of the attacks as hate crimes.

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Scott L.
September 9th, 2011 | LINK

Just to clarify, American Fork is not a suburb of Salt Lake City, I’m not sure what the exact distance is but it’s more than 40 miles from Salt Lake and is a township. A very SMALL township. It’s much closer to Provo and BYU than Salt Lake and very rural and heavily Mormon.

mike
September 9th, 2011 | LINK

hey salt lake police, how many gay men have to be beaten while being called faggot before you realize it’s a hate crime?

Chharles
September 9th, 2011 | LINK

I am not too keen on using hate crime legislation. If someone is beaten as bad as these two men, now three, the book should be thrown at them, regardless if the person was attacked is gay or not. If the attackers are the same people in all three incidents, I think the attackers should all get life and the gay angle should come into the picture.

Here in South Carolina near the University of South Carolina a gang of black thugs, some as young as 14, nearly beat a young white man to death …… just for the thrill. I hope they all serve serious time for their crime.

cowboy
September 9th, 2011 | LINK

I’m giving the respective police departments of Salt Lake City and American Fork a little leeway.

I don’t think the 3 incidents were perpetrated by the same group(s) of people. American Fork is not that far from SLC but I doubt it’s the same people. I do not have ‘insider’ information and only the police know the facts right now. I’m certain they are investigating and have been studying surveillance videos and such. Plus, the SLPD is trying to reach out to the gay community in a very public way lately because this could blow up and be an even bigger headache for their PR department.

The being said, I still wonder where all the animosity towards gays is coming from. Why suddenly an outbreak of this sort of violence? Is this an anomaly? This sort of thuggish behavior happens on a regular basis but just hasn’t hit the right nerve in the media until now?

I personally think these episodes are three different unrelated events (as far as the perpetrators are concerned). Though, I’m only speculating.

But, why now? Why are we targets? Is it the economy? HRC had a big fund-raiser recently in SLC and some people are jealous? Was there another letter read over the podium at every Mormon Wardhouse? (Not that I know of. So, no.) School just started and there was GSA assembly that everyone had to attend?

I think it’s the age-old problem: the need for some people to invoke violence. And who best to satisfy your need for releasing pent-up urges? Why, of course, the gays, the elderly, women or anyone who can’t defend themselves.

Blair Martin
September 10th, 2011 | LINK

Cowboy: just a slight point of contention: “I think it’s the age-old problem: the need for some people to invoke violence. And who best to satisfy your need for releasing pent-up urges? Why, of course, the gays, the elderly, women or anyone who can’t defend themselves.” Rather than perpetuate the old stereotype of the limpwristed pansy queer who cannot fight; could it be said “…or anyone who the attackers PERCEIVE to be unable to defend themselves”? Just a thought…

MKYLL
September 12th, 2011 | LINK

I personally believe the Dane Hall case was a drug deal gone bad, not a gay-bashing. Look up his arrest record and mugshot from July and you might agree. My opinion only.

cowboy
September 13th, 2011 | LINK

First off, I agree with you B. Martin. The perception is the key.

MKYLL,
You’re using the same theory they used on Matt Shepard. Blame the victim because he is a drug-addicted homosexual.

It doesn’t pass the mustard test here. why? Because bad drug deals do not usually end with a ritualistic torture be it hanging on a fence or being “curbed”. Dane Hall was leaving a gay-themed night in a well-known gayborhood. These thugs knew where they could fish for their prey.

A psychiatrist will tell you these perpetrators are acting out a need to inflict violence because of some instilled hatred.

Anyway, there is a nice feature columnist in the Salt Lake Tribune who wrote about the wholly worthless hate-crime law Utah has. I doubt this article and editorials and the reality of 3 violent acts will make any difference with our legislature but, at least, it has us discussing the topic.

But, don’t this is a hate-crime…not a drug-deal gone bad.

MKYLL
September 15th, 2011 | LINK

cowboy : I don’t see any comparison between the Matthew Shepard and Dane Hall cases. Firstly, Dane Hall had been arrested on drug-related charges and lying to the police. Secondly, he was beaten badly but there isn’t the slightest bit of evidence that he was beaten for being gay except for his claim of that. No other witnesses, no nothing. I believe he’ll wind up being put on the list of other fakes like Quinn Matney, Phillip Nelson, and Shawn Bennett, all insults to the victims of very real gaybashings. But that’s only my opinion, and of course I could be wrong. Let’s wait and see.

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