USA: 13-year-old to face jail for hate crime
Customers at Cocktails, a gay bar in Cleveland Ohio, have been victims of a series of homophobic attacks in the past month. Police have revealed one of the perpetrators is a 13 year old boy.
On September 1, Jared Fox was set upon by a group of 20 who taunted him with homophobic slurs before attacking him physically. While footage of the attack was captured on surveillance video, it was not clear enough to identify any perpetrators. Then on September 6, a similar attack was reported outside Cocktails again. This time camera footage was clear enough for police to identify suspects, amongst them, the 13 year old boy, who has been arrested.
A customer told WKYC TV the group of men approached the bar, yelling and brandishing makeshift weapons.
The venue is beefing up security in case of reprisals.
Local councilman Jay Westbrook is doing his best to allay community fears. Certainly the attacks do not reflect well on the city, which is set to host the Gay Games in 2014.
“The city of Cleveland will be judged by the actions already taken - the arrests, all the way to prosecution,” said Westbrook.
"Hate crimes do not and should not define Cleveland as a community," said Director Martin Flask of Cleveland Department of Public Safety.
“One of Cleveland’s greatest assets is its racial, ethnic, religious and cultural diversity.
“The Cleveland Division of Police will investigate this incident with the goal of bringing justice for the victim and to send a clear message that there are consequences for hate crimes.”
Jared Fox speaks of his attack below.