Apr 242006
 
Authors: Brandon Lowrey

Police arrested a 20-year-old man after he allegedly punched two gay CSU students in the University House at Ram’s Pointe apartment complex last week after he saw two men kissing.

Investigators are treating the case as a hate crime.

This report may be a rarity – a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Student Services (GLBTSS) employee said in many such cases, the crime isn’t even reported.

Gilbert Allen Garcia, 20, faces misdemeanor charges of assault, committing a bias-motivated crime and underage consumption of alcohol, said Rita Davis, spokeswoman for Fort Collins Police Services.

Garcia is not listed on the CSU Web site as being affiliated with the university.

At about 2:30 a.m., April 16, Garcia was part of a group who saw several gay men outside the apartment complex. When two of the gay men began kissing, he reportedly began shouting insults, Davis said.

Two friends of the kissing men “verbally confronted” Garcia, she said. He allegedly punched them both in the face.

Davis said nobody was hospitalized.

Police were called to the scene at 3:11 a.m., and arrested Garcia. He is set to appear in court 8:30 a.m., May 31.

One of the victims declined to give details of the alleged attack to the Collegian, saying he did not want to jeopardize any possible future legal action against Garcia.

While CSU is relatively accepting with support from much of the student body and the administration, one gay student said life at the university can sometimes be a bit rough.

“I think it can be pretty uncomfortable, but I don’t consider it to be necessarily dangerous,” said Andy Bullecks, a junior history major and student staff member for GLBTSS.

However, many homosexuals who are victims of hate crimes don’t report the incident for fear family members will learn they are gay, Bullecks said.

“If they’re in the closet, they won’t report it,” Bullecks said. “It happens more than anyone here would ever know.”

Brandon Lowrey can be contacted at regional@collegian.com

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