Connecticut man arrested in Labor Day gay bashing

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com September 17 2002 12:00 AM ET

Police in Shelton, Conn., have arrested a homeowner who hosted a Labor Day picnic at which a gay man was severely beaten.

George Hamilton, 42, turned himself in to police Friday after learning that there was a warrant for his arrest. He is charged with first-degree assault and first-degree intimidation based on bigotry or bias. Hamilton posted $150,000 bond and is scheduled to answer the charges September 30 in Derby superior court.

Stratford resident Bryan Wendland, 25, was arrested on the same charges. Wendland was held in lieu of $175,000 bail. His bond was higher because he is a flight risk, said Det. Sgt. Michael Madden. He is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Derby superior court.

"Mr. Hamilton knew the victim was openly gay, and after a long day at the party he made sexually oriented comments as he assaulted him," Madden said, adding that Wendland joined in the attack.

The victim said three men beat him. More arrests are pending, Madden said, possibly including people who attended the party and later made false statements. Police did not identify the victim, who was treated at Yale-New Haven Hospital for wounds from punches and kicks to his face and ribs.