San Diego homophobic attack trio behind bars

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All three San Diego men accused of violently attacking a group of men near the Southern California town’s Gay Pride Festival are behind bars.

According to San Diego’s NBC affiliate, channel 4, police arrested the third suspect, a 16-year-old male without incident on Tuesday night, charging him with attempted murder.

Police said at a news conference on Tuesday that six men were attacked with baseball bats and a knife near the gay pride festival over the weekend. Four of the men were attacked while they were by themselves, according to police.

The victim with the most serious injuries remains in intensive care with a fractured skull. San Diego Police Captain Chris Ball told channel 4 news reporters that doctors had to give the man a tracheotomy to allow him to breathe.

“People are outraged,” said Sean Wherley, a spokesman for The San Diego Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Community Centre, reports The San Diego Union-Tribune. “We’re obviously very concerned by the viciousness of the attacks, but we’re heartened by the swift action” by the police.

According to The Union-Tribune, James Allen Carroll, a convicted felon, was taken into custody on Monday night at a San Diego apartment where he was living, police Captain Chris Ball said.

A 17-year-old was arrested yesterday afternoon while walking on Scott Street in Point Loma after picking up his paycheck from a restaurant.

Police have asked prosecutors to charge the 17-year-old as an adult, department spokesman Mónica Muñoz said. He is being held in Juvenile Hall.

The first arrest in this case, reports channel 4, came late Tuesday night, after police got a tip.

“The information we were given was a starting point,” Captain Ball said. “We were given some brief descriptions and a couple of nicknames.”

According to The Union-Tribune, court records show Carroll, who is being held in the downtown jail pending arraignment, pleaded guilty to felony burglary in April in San Diego. He was sentenced to three years’ probation. He was convicted of a similar crime last year in Texas.

The three are part of a loose-knit group known as the “Lowlifes,” Captain Ball said. Police don’t know much about the group, which they said has about 50 members.

“We will find out more about who they are,” Ball told reporters.

Police told reporters the victims were taunted with anti-gay insults during the beatings, noting that baseball bats and a knife were used.

“This was a brutal attack,” Captain Ball said, The Union-Tribune reports. “These victims were going about their business and this attack was unprovoked. It was violent.”

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