Arrests in Philly Gay Bashing Case Expected as Investigation Wraps Up

by EDGE

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday September 23, 2014

Expect arrests later this week, as police investigators put together the final pieces in the case of the savage beating of two gay men by a gang of "clean cut" young white men and women in Center City, Philadelphia this month.

"We feel that there is sufficient evidence to have charges placed against some of the individuals there," said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey after his department had concluded their investigation.

On the evening of September 11th, two gay men, aged 27 and 28 were accosted by a group of 12 to 15 men and women described as "clean cut" and in their 20's. According to reports, one of the male couple brushed shoulders with someone in the group who asked if the two were gay and a couple. When they replied yes, they were beaten by members of the gang, with some in the group holding the victims down while others kicked and punched. A member of the group of assailants picked up one of the victims' bag and dropped it a few blocks from the attack. A homeless man reportedly found a credit card in the bag and used it in several places.

Persons of interest in this case were identified by social media sleuths after surveillance video of the group was released to the public by Philadelphia Police. The process of arresting those believed connected with the assault has been drawn out due to the fact that each of the 12 to 15 persons of interest has retained a separate, private attorney.

According to PGN, a source close to the investigation said "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."

Reportedly, an attorney from one of the group of alleged assailants, is claiming that it was one of the victims who threw the first punch.

One of the alleged assailants, Fran McGlinn, was an assistant basketball coach at nearby Archbishop Wood Catholic High School, where the group reportedly attended. He has since left his position.

The crime has sparked a cry to amend the current hate crime law in Pennsylvania, which currently does not cover crimes based on sexual orientation.

"With or without the hate-crimes statute, there's no question, this was a hate crime," said assistant district attorney Nellie Fitzpatrick, the D.A.'s LGBT liaison. "As it stands now, a special hate-crimes charge cannot be brought against them. Not because we don't want to, but because our hands are tied because it's not in the law."

According to Philly.com, on Monday, Police Commissioner Ramsey said he supports modifying the current state law, which he said "needs to change, and change very quickly."