Gay Salt Lake City man Dane Hall, who was beaten severely on his way home from a nightclub last month, is countering speculation that the attack was drug-related.
Salt Lake City police chief Chris Burbank said this week that his force is investigating whether drugs were a motive for the August 26 assault on Hall, as he was arrested in July for possession of narcotics, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia, as well as the possibility that the attack was a hate crime.
Hall (pictured) responded Wednesday on his Facebook page by saying, "I am not a drug dealer, and my previous arrest has nothing to do with this," The Salt Lake Tribunereports. He referred further questions to his lawyer, who issued a press release with a statement from Hall reading, "All I know is that I was attacked and that I heard my attacker shouting gay slurs during the attack. I hope the police can find out who did this and why, but this had nothing to do with drugs."
Hall was beaten by four men as he walked home from a gay night at Club Sound early in the morning of August 26. They knocked out six of his teeth and broke his jaw in several places. He says they shouted "fag" and other antigay epithets during the attack. No arrests have been made.
Although Hall was arrested July 2 for drug possession, he has never been formally charged. Also, according to his lawyer, Christopher Wharton, he was not in possession of any illegal drugs when he was attacked, and a blood test he underwent immediately afterward showed no narcotics in his system.
"We appreciate Chief Burbank's support and continued efforts to investigate this assault, but we don't believe that the investigation should focus on 'speculation,'" Wharton told the Tribune. "Their investigation is ongoing and we are supportive of their continued efforts to find the person who committed this crime."