Main | Monday, September 22, 2014

PHILADELPHIA: Multiple Arrests Expected In Brutal Mob Gay-Bashing Case

Via Jen Coletta at Philadelphia Gay News:
A police source said this week that they were nearly "ready to go" in terms of making arrests and said charges are expected "this week." A key witness, the source said, was due in for an interview Monday, "the girl who was right in the middle of it all." After that, the source said, the District Attorney's Office will review all of the evidence collected in the case and make a decision about charges. "People are going to get locked up," the source said.

As the men were being attacked, one of their bags, containing a cell phone and wallet, fell to the ground and one of the assailants took it. A source close to the investigation said one of the members of the group said she picked up the bag in the melee thinking it belonged to a companion and, upon realizing it did not, dropped it at 16th and Walnut streets. The bag was discovered by a homeless person, who used one of the victim's credit cards. "The credit card was used several different places, so we've had to go to all the places the card was used and investigate," the source said.

As of Monday morning, police had completed 18 interviews with members of the group and witnesses. Each interview, the source said, takes about four hours. Prolonging the process, the source added, is that each person in the group has retained a separate, private attorney. "What happens with cases like this is that, if you rush it and don't do a good job, they'll start throwing out charges later on. These kids all have top-notch attorneys, so if our case isn't put together on our end, they're going to pick it apart. But we've put together a great case for the DA and we'll be working in conjunction with the DA to bring the charges."
The case was broken open last week after a Twitter sleuth identified the mob via photos and their social media accounts. Almost immediately, a basketball coach at a local Catholic high school either resigned or was terminated (accounts differ) due to his involvement. That coach, Fran McGlinn, has supporters on Twitter who are using the hashtag #McGlinnocent. (Tipped by JMG readers Str8 Grandmother and Paul)

RELATED: The attack on the two men has spawned renewed and widespread support for the resurrection of an LGBT-inclusive hate crimes law in Pennsylvania, including from Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf. A previously existing law was overturned by the state supreme court several years ago following a lawsuit by the anti-gay hate group Repent America. This Thursday state Rep. Brian Sims will co-host a Philadelphia rally in support of the pending legislation.

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