By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com September 18 2002 12:00 AM ET
Police in London, Ky., have charged two men with assault after they allegedly beat a gay couple because of their sexual orientation.
London police said Hargis Gibson, 30, and Calvin Mitchell, 31, at about 7:30 p.m. on Saturday attacked a gay couple living at the Laurel Square Apartments. Police chief Elijah Hollon said the assailants clearly targeted the victims, Robbie Gregory and Tommy Perez, because they are gay. Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime, Hollon said. "They did not like for them to live in that same complex," he said.
Hollon said the accused asked officers to release them on several occasions because "they didn't think they had done anything wrong or had done anything that someone else wouldn't have done."
If found guilty of a hate crime, Gibson and Mitchell could be denied varying forms of probation or parole, according to state law. Gibson and Mitchell, who also reside at the complex, initially asked the victims to let them into their apartment, but the couple refused, Hollon said. Instead of leaving, the assailants forced their way into the apartment and began punching and kicking Gregory and Perez, Hollon said. Gibson and Mitchell are also charged with burglary.
Gregory, 28, lost consciousness and was briefly hospitalized. He suffered from extensive facial injuries, Hollon said. Perez, whose age wasn't given, sustained minor injuries.