LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Addresses Hollywood Gay Bashings

Concerns about recent gay bashings in Hollywood were brought up at the Los Angeles Police Department's LGBT forum at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center last night, where LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said the incidents had been addressed at a CompStat meeting in May.

LAPD brass hold regular CompStat meetings where commanding officers of various divisions examine specific crime trends with their superiors and discuss ways to combat them.

LAPD Captain Bea Girmala, the commanding officer at Hollywood Division, said at the forum that police are "actively looking for the suspects" of three, gay-related hate crimes, but vague descriptions of the assailants have been hampering the investigations.

At least three gay bashings have occurred in Hollywood over the past four months, said Girmala, noting that anti-gay slurs were spoken and followed with violence against the victims. The attacks took place in February, April, and May.

One of the victims, Dominic Montelongo, attended the forum last night and told Beck about his ordeal during a Q & A period.

Montelongo earlier told L.A. Weekly that he was "ambushed" in front of the W Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard in April after attending a gay event at the nearby Avalon nightclub. At around 1:30 a.m., Montelongo was hit from behind with a "blunt object" and repeatedly called "fuckin' faggot" by three suspects as they continued to strike him on the face and head.

The suspects eventually fled the scene and Montelongo took himself to the hospital, where LAPD officers were called and took a crime report. But Montelongo, who was unable to get a good look of his attackers, could not provide a solid description. No arrests have yet been made.

L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center spokesman Jim Key told the Weekly that the center knows about the recent attacks, but there "has not been a surprising or alarming increase" of gay bashings in Hollywood.

Girmala urged any other victims of gay bashings to report them to the police. Beck said the LAPD often notices a spike in gay-related hate crimes whenever Proposition 8 news makes major headlines.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.


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