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  1. #1
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    CA - Couple arrested over hate crime attack over parking space

    This is so sad as Palm Springs is known to be a very gay-friendly town. My heart goes out to these men. Just when you think minds are opening, some jerks have to come along and spread hatred....and do it in front of a tiny child, no less.

    http://www.MyDesert.com/article/2011...ey=mod|mostcom

    Palm Springs police arrest couple after hate crime

    "An argument over a parking space in downtown Palm Springs spiraled last weekend into what police call a brutal attack that should be prosecuted as a hate crime. That’s because a man and woman used gay slurs during the fight that left two men hospitalized..."

    and

    "...The incident began about 4:20 p.m. May 21 because of a dispute over a reserved parking spot behind the 100 block of Tahquitz Canyon Way. That is home to a popular strip of businesses, including flower and yogurt shops, and across the street from the downtown police office.

    When the unidentified victims began taking photos of the heterosexual couple, the man and woman “became enraged and began yelling derogatory slurs,” Sgt. Troy Castillo said. Russell Bates, 24, and Abigail Sheehy, 19, began “to punch the couple multiple times with closed fists, causing one of the victims to lose some teeth,” Castillo said. The assailants, who police say had a 4-year-old son who witnessed the attack, fled before officers arrived...."

    and

    The victims — domestic partners who are 45 and 63 years old, respectively — were both hospitalized and have since been released, police said. Both men suffered bruises and cuts in the attacks. Friends say the victim whose teeth were knocked out also broke his jaw and will require surgery...."

    more at link


    SHAME, SHAME, SHAME

  2. #2
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    This happened in my home town, about a mile from where I live. As a rule, gay and straight people (including the very religious) get along very well here.

    Palm Springs is also home to a relatively large gay community. In the city, 7.2% of households belong to a same-sex couple compared to the national average of 1%. This makes Palm Springs the city with the fifth largest percentage of same-sex households in the nation. Former mayor Ron Oden estimated that about a third of Palm Springs is gay.
    ETA: forgot the link:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm_Springs,_California


    As a rule, the city is extremely gay friendly and the annual gay pride parade on the first Saturday in November attracts individuals and families of all types.

    But I will add that gay slurs were yelled from a passing pick-up truck at my husband and I when we were out for a walk last month. Not a big deal but not something that ever happened to us in L.A.

    Maybe tough economic times just bring out the worst in people.

    P.S. Way to teach your 4-year-old how to behave, Mom and Dad!

  3. #3
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    Having your life changed because of a parking space and horrible people ..
    "Don't pee on my head and tell me it's raining" ~Judge Judy

    Revenge is beneath me , but accidents DO happen .

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silkprint View Post
    Having your life changed because of a parking space and horrible people ..
    For what it's worth and for those who don't know the area, parking is NOT a problem on a Saturday afternoon in late May. Palm Springs is a tourist destination and takes care to provide plenty of parking spaces.

    And though the town doubles in size (to over 80,000) in the winter, the "snow birds" are long gone by late May. There would have been available parking on Indian Canyon Avenue and an entire casino parking lot across the street.

  5. #5
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    The moral compass in California is deplorable. I agree, PS is very gay friendly - even having specific hotels that cater to their lifestyle. I've always said, I don't care what you do behind closed doors as long as you're not hurting anyone.

    We've been there many times, and it's one of our favourite get aways (especially the water park). And if you're going to have a problem w/parking it's there. But, no, we've never ever had a problem.

    I'm gonna chock this up to pure hate!

    MOO

    Mel

  6. #6
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    My guess is that these two assailants first became angry because a couple of gay men were taking pictures that included their 4 year old. Their belief that "gay man" and "pedophile" are synonymous led them to believe that they were acting in righteous anger. That's the way bigotry and ignorance feed so much violence, and I bet they and their like-minded friends are thinking that it's a sad commentary on our state of affairs that they have been arrested instead of the gay couple. I bet most hate crime perpetrators feel that way.
    I find it intriguing that both of them reacted with such shocking brutality -- it makes me think that the demographics of Palm Springs has been a frequent topic of bitter discussion in the home.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melanie View Post
    The moral compass in California is deplorable. I agree, PS is very gay friendly - even having specific hotels that cater to their lifestyle. I've always said, I don't care what you do behind closed doors as long as you're not hurting anyone.

    We've been there many times, and it's one of our favourite get aways (especially the water park). And if you're going to have a problem w/parking it's there. But, no, we've never ever had a problem.

    I'm gonna chock this up to pure hate!

    MOO

    Mel
    Thanks for the reminder!

    Mel is right: Palm Springs is not SO gay that straight people can't have a great time here. Yes, there are gay resorts where clothing is optional, but they are walled in. You and your children can enjoy the great weather and astonishing views without ever having to explain what "gay" means.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by STEADFAST View Post
    My guess is that these two assailants first became angry because a couple of gay men were taking pictures that included their 4 year old. Their belief that "gay man" and "pedophile" are synonymous led them to believe that they were acting in righteous anger. That's the way bigotry and ignorance feed so much violence, and I bet they and their like-minded friends are thinking that it's a sad commentary on our state of affairs that they have been arrested instead of the gay couple. I bet most hate crime perpetrators feel that way.
    I find it intriguing that both of them reacted with such shocking brutality -- it makes me think that the demographics of Palm Springs has been a frequent topic of bitter discussion in the home.
    You may be right (you usually are). But the article stresses that the argument began over a "private" parking space, so my guess is that the gay couple took pictures of the straight couple to prove they were taking up a private spot. (It was one of those pictures that was identified by the police, who apparently had some contact with the heterosexual couple before, or maybe saw a photo of the license plate and ran that through the system.)

    Frankly, I don't think anyone has any business taking pictures of children without the permission of their parents, so I hope that isn't what started the argument. Not that it would justify assault and battery, but still...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    You may be right (you usually are). But the article stresses that the argument began over a "private" parking space, so my guess is that the gay couple took pictures of the straight couple to prove they were taking up a private spot. (It was one of those pictures that was identified by the police, who apparently had some contact with the heterosexual couple before, or maybe saw a photo of the license plate and ran that through the system.)

    Frankly, I don't think anyone has any business taking pictures of children without the permission of their parents, so I hope that isn't what started the argument. Not that it was justify assault and battery, but still...
    I didn't mean the gay couple was trying to get a picture of the child. They probably didn't even notice there was a child, since they were pretty focused (get it?) on the parking violation perps. I think it happened just like you say -- they were getting a picture of the straight couple using someone else's private space. However, the straight couple's child would be in the same place as the straight couple being photographed, and the straight couple may have jumped to a wrong conclusion about the purpose of the photo, given their preconceived ideas.
    I don't think that excuses or even mitigates the straight couple's guilt. In fact, I think it's evidence of the "hate" part of "hate crime."

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by STEADFAST View Post
    I didn't mean the gay couple was trying to get a picture of the child. They probably didn't even notice there was a child, since they were pretty focused (get it?) on the parking violation perps. I think it happened just like you say -- they were getting a picture of the straight couple using someone else's private space. However, the straight couple's child would be in the same place as the straight couple being photographed, and the straight couple may have jumped to a wrong conclusion about the purpose of the photo, given their preconceived ideas.
    I don't think that excuses or even mitigates the straight couple's guilt. In fact, I think it's evidence of the "hate" part of "hate crime."
    Got it. That makes perfect sense.

    The stereotype that gays are child molesters is the worst! I couldn't care less if people think I'm promiscuous or effeminate (I'm neither, but so what?). Assuming I would hurt a child, however, offends me to the core.

    We're VERY lucky in our house that none of my husband's ex-wife, our grown kids or son-in-law believe that crap. Otherwise our relationships with our grandchildren would be greatly impaired.


  11. #11
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    Oh my one of the men lost some teeth? What year is this? What is wrong with people?

    That's a real classy couple that would beat men with their fists in front of a child while screaming slurs.

    At first I thought this was the couple that were beaten in Oregon because Miss Izzy posted and she's from Oregon.

    It scares the bajeepers out of me that people can be so violent and bigoted.

    Don't even get me started on that preconceived notion that gays are child molesters. I could direct them to thread after thread on our crimes against children and tell them to do the math. On an aside I'd entrust my gay friends to watch kids because they actually watch them and take care they won't be hurt on their watch.

  12. #12
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    so ridiculous

    I'm glad they got hit with so many charges

  13. #13
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    I noticed this article and started the thread as it first came up on a news source near me and I then found the original article. Ashland is also very gay friendly. Heck, we have a number of teachers who are totally out with their families. The head of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is gay and he and his partner have a family. Ashland is full of "alternative" families built in all sorts of unique ways. Not a big deal here. That's why I got so upset about this nasty attack. I just cannot tolerate hate.

    Our family is exceptionally multi-cultural. This might sound a bit silly but we learned long ago that if a community is gay friendly, we'll be welcomed too. I've had "n-word lover" yelled at me a number of times (why, yes I am--thank you very much) and had my Asian daughters called horrid names. We even received frightening hate mail once threatening the children with death after our family had some media coverage. Thankfully the epithets have never happened in our town. The letter was mailed from elsewhere. We feel safe here and that's important for a peaceful life. I admire the trailblazers but that's tough when you're trying to parent 14 kids.

    I find it interesting that LE recognized this woman from her photo. That tells me that she's a known trouble maker. I'm also very bothered by the level of violence. Closed fists? Knocked out teeth? The two men are certainly not elders but they are much older than the attackers. Thank goodness one didn't have a heart attack in such a highly charged situation.

    I also seriously doubt that the attackers were even paying attention to their child during this incident. I think they just got worked up when the one gentleman started snapping photos. They knew their goose was cooked.

  14. #14
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    The female attacker is 19 and she has a four year old child?

    Sheehy's FB page. She doesn't like people sitting in front of her in the theatre. Hmmmm.

    http://www.facebook.com/people/Abby-...00000413855964

    The attackers' full names are Russell Allen Bates and Abigail Monet Sheehy.

  15. #15
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    I am unilateraly against the whole idea of charging people with a "hate crimes". Assault and murder are already crimes, and the additional "hate crime" charges/sentencing is applied with extreme prejudice (no pun intended).

    In this case the couple didn't see two presumably gay men and think "I hate homosexuals -- Let's beat them senseless for being gay!", the altercation started over a parking spot (or more specifically the couple being caught parking in a private spot) and as things progressed to the point of a heat attack nasty words were uttered.

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