On Sunday evening, two gay men claim to have been assaulted inside a Bozeman bar with the assailants repeatedly using gay slurs. The two men required medical attention at the local hospital.
One of the alleged victims told me,”We simply asked a guy to stop some annoying behavior and he said ‘Don’t tell me what to do, faggot’ and cold-cocked me. It’s all a little fuzzy from there. A woman accused (the other man) of assaulting her and the next thing I know, we’re in the back of the patrol car.”
The man insists that he and his boyfriend were not being antagonistic and denied assaulting anyone. “We just went in to have a beer”, he said.
Both men were released from the Gallatin County Detention Facility today. Both men are facing charges- misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct, and an investigation is ongoing. Local media have not yet picked up the story- although I was contacted by a local reporter late today.
Editorial comments: I didn’t speak to any of the alleged assailants, law enforcement, medical personnel or bar management. I did however speak to several friends and acquaintances of the two gay men and they all concurred with one who said, “If he assaulted anyone, it would be so completely uncharacteristic of him, I simply can’t imagine.”
I want to caution people to not rush to judgment until all the facts are known and an investigation is complete.
I’m writing about this incident because I’m simply worried that if prejudice and hate were in any way involved that it not be discounted- because whatever happened, hitting people and repeatedly calling them faggots is not acceptable.
If you were a witness or have further information, I would encourage you to contact law enforcement immediately.
And finally- please be careful out there.