New York Man Allegedly Tasered Man Because He’s Gay
A man from Brooklyn, N.Y., has been charged with a hate crime after he allegedly tasered another man while spewing an anti-gay epithet, CBS News reports.
Joseph Desmond, 23, was charged on Tuesday with second-degree assault as a hate crime and two other felony charges, including second-degree aggravated harassment, and second-degree harassment, after he allegedly attacked a 23-year-old man.
On Sept. 25, Desmond allegedly walked up to the victim, yelled a homophobic slur at him and zapped him with a taser. He then fled the scene. Although the victim suffered chest pains, he managed to call police and report the attack, authorities said.
Soon after the incident, Desmond was arrested in a nearby courtyard, according to prosecutors.
"Crimes of hate - such as this random and senseless attack - will never be tolerated here in Queens County," Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said in a statement. "When they do, regrettably, occur, they will be condemned in the strongest possible terms. Every person has the right to feel safe to walk the streets without being harassed or assaulted based on race, religion, gender or sexual orientation."
New York’s Hate Crimes Act of 2000 protects gay men and lesbians from hate crimes. The law, however, does not cover gender identity.
In September, there was a case of a gay young man using a Taser for the exact opposite purpose - to fend off anti-gay bullies.
Darnell "Dynasty" Young, 17, was expelled from his Indianapolis high school after he brought in a stun gun to protect himself from bullies, EDGE reported. His mother gave the teen the weapon after the school allegedly did not do enough to protect the teen, who complained about enduring months of anti-gay bullying.
"I do not promote violence - not at all - but what is a parent to do when she has done everything that she felt she was supposed to do ... at the school?" Young’s mother Chelisa Grimes said. "I did feel like there was nothing else left for me to do, but protect my child."