3 Brothers Charged in Hate Crime for Beating San Antonio Gay Man
Three brothers from San Antonio, Texas, were arrested last weekend for attacking a gay man who is their neighbor. Police are calling the incident a hate crime, San Antonio’s CBS-affiliate KENS5 reports.
According to a San Antonio police report, the 48-year-old unidentified victim was washing his clothes and visiting with other tenants in his apartment complex on Sunday evening. One of the three brothers confronted him and called him a derogatory name in Spanish. The victim recalled the suspect saying he did not like the way the victim was looking at him and then went off on an anti-gay rant.
The brothers, Aurelio Huerta-Gonzalez, 33, Filberto Huerta-Gonzalez, 30, and Juan Huerta-Gonzalez, 35, allegedly then assaulted the victim. They punched him in the face, held him down and bit one of his knuckles. The victim said the men continued to beat him until he blacked out.
"According to the victim, he believes that his sexual orientation is the reason why he was confronted by these suspects," Officer Matthew Porter, spokesman for the San Antonio Police Department, told San Antonio’ ABC affiliate KSAT. "We are carrying this as a hate crime."
When the victim woke up, he walked to a nearby apartment and called police. The officers who responded to the call were directed to the brothers’ apartment. Aurelio Huerta-Gonzalez allegedly told police that he was tired of the victim coming on to him and calling him and his brothers "baby" and "sweet thing."
He then tried to backtrack by claiming that it was another man -- not one of the brothers -- who attacked the victim and delivered the knockout punch. Aurelio Huerta-Gonzalez said he and his brothers actually pulled the alleged fourth man off the victim, who insisted he could only identify the three brothers.
The police, at least, didn’t buy the story. "One of the suspects made mention that the victim would look at him. Again, that’s no reason to assault this individual," Porter told KSAT. "You have a right to choose your religion, your sexual orientation."
Hate crimes, Porter asserted, are relatively rare in San Antonio, a city of 1.3 million. Only one other hate crime was reported this year, according to Porter; only 17 reported all of last year.
The three brothers have been arrested and charged with assault as a hate crime. They are currently being held in Bexar County jail and are awaiting interviews with Immigration Customs Enforcement agents.