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Police investigate alleged gay bashing by four Marines outside Long Beach bar

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

LONG BEACH, Calif. — Police in Long Beach, Calif., are investigating an assault involving four U.S. Marine Corps’ personnel who allegedly attacked a film student from San Dimas, Calif., and beat him unconscious outside the Silver Fox, a popular gay-patronized establishment.

According to Long Beach Police Department spokeswoman Nancy Pratt, officers responded to the Silver Fox at around 2 a.m. Monday, and based on a preliminary investigation, “it was determined that an assault had occurred” by several male suspects after they had left the establishment.

“I remember blacking out,” the victim told KCBS-TV. “All I remember is being put next to the curb, He starts pushing me and calling me fag. I told him I was gonna call police,” according to a report by KCBS-TV.

The victim has asked that his face and identity not be revealed, “I don’t want them to see who I am. They have friends out there.”

Pratt added that two bystanders who came to the aid of the victim were also beaten. One of the victims was transported to local hospital, with what Pratt described as “non-life-threatening injuries.”

Arrested were Lance Cpl. Lewis Serna; Pfc. Thomas Pentek; Pfc. Sean Miller and Lance Cpl. John O’Leary.

In an interview with Long Beach Press-Telegram, Silver Fox Manager John Barnes said the four men entered the bar late Sunday or early Monday and at least one of the alleged attackers, who seemed visibly uncomfortable while at the bar, called Barnes “sweetheart.”

“You could tell by the tone of his voice that he was uncomfortable, he was making a demeaning remark,” Barnes said.

The attack occurred as the bar was closing, with the primary suspect punching the victim, who was described as “much smaller,” according to Barnes.

Pratt said that uniformed officers responded within minutes and the four Marines were arrested on charges of assault and battery. She said that LBPD Violent Crimes Division detectives are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime attack, and will present their case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office later Wednesday, at which point the District Attorney’s Office will determine what the appropriate charges are to be filed.

A spokesperson for USMC Base Camp Pendleton, where the four Marines are stationed, declined to comment other than to confirm that Marine Corps investigators were also looking into the incident.

The Marines have posted bail and returned to their units.

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12 more reader comments:

  1. This was wrong doing. Gay bashing another person. wrong.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 2:56pm
  2. Marines are there to serve our country but this makes me ashamed of them and makes our country look bad

    Posted on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 3:04pm
  3. These 4 men should not only get jail time but the Marines should be giving them a dishonest discharge and all benefits stripped.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 3:07pm
  4. And four against one. There’s a word for that where I come from: cowardice.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 3:08pm
  5. This does not reflect the whole military. I grew up a Marine Corps dependent and can tell you the Corps stood up for, protected, and fought for those meeker or unable to defend themselves. These boys shame the Corps!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 3:45pm
  6. But will anything happen to them? I bet the military will try to sweep it under the rug.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 4:14pm
  7. i agree. nothing will get done :(

    Posted on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 4:26pm
  8. So much for honor.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 5:40pm
  9. As a sailor Ive got a pretty good idea about what will happen to them. Since they’re Marines, they’ll probably be counseled (yelled at) and given some extra duty for punishment.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 6:28pm
  10. Sounds like four self hating closeted gay soldiers took their anger out on somebody they found attractive and threatening. I don’t think anything will come of the attack but I do agree that they should receive an unhonorable discharge and time in jail.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 6:46pm
  11. Didn’t the Marine Corps learn a lesson when a Marine stabbed and killed another Marine outside of Marine Barracks Washington 8th and I ??

    Posted on Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 6:47am
  12. An obvious hate crime. I lived in Long Beach for 14 years and often went to Silver Fox and fortunately never experienced anything like that. Hope they are dishonorably discharged and their asses are thrown in jail for a very long time.

    Posted on Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 8:03am