Long Beach, CA – Four Marines are accused of beating a man outside a California gay bar. Local police officers are investigating the assault as a possible hate crime. The San Dimas film student was nearly unconscious when found outside the Silver Fox, a popular same-sex bar in Long Beach. A Marine Corps representative reports the four military services members are out on bail.
The Marines reportedly went into the Silver Fox on late Sunday evening or early Monday morning, according to NBC News. One of the armed forces members allegedly made derogatory comments to the victim.
Gay bar manager John Barnes had this to say during an interview with the Press-Telegram:
“You could tell by the tone of his voice that he [the military man] was uncomfortable. He was making a demeaning remark.”
Barnes also noted that the victim, who has not been identified by name, called his alleged attacker “sweetheart” prior to the physical altercation. The injured homosexual man recalled being pushed and called names before blacking out. Two club patrons attempted to stop the fight, one wound up with minor injuries.
Both the Long Beach Police Department and Camp Pendleton officials are investigating the incident. The accused instigators are currently in their first enlistment. Base officers consider the same-sex club fight an isolated incident. Maj. Manuel Delarosa reiterated that crimes of intolerance are not acceptable behavior for members of the armed forces and such behavior will not be tolerated at Camp Pendleton.
Long Beach Police Department spokeswoman Nancy Pratt notes the possible hate crime case will be turned over to prosecutors this week.