About 200 LGBT and straight people gathered in Long Beach to protest a recent spate of attacks on gay men along the gay-friendly Broadway Corridor. Only one of three separate attacks in two weeks has so far been confirmed as a hate crime. Police have arrested 21-year-old Jorge Ibarrias of Torrance, who was chased down by Eric Avila after Ibarrias allegedly attacked Avila's friend Martin Sanchez on July 24 outside The Falcon bar. Ibarrias has been charged with felony battery with a hate crime enhancement.
"One of his front right tooth got knocked out. He had three cracked teeth on the top. There's some bodily injury done, but I think more importantly, he had psychological damage done as well," Avila told KABC Channel 7.
Newly elected Rep. Janice Hahn (D-San Pedro) attended a protest rally Thursday night. "I believe these kinds of hate crimes are a form of domestic terrorism," Hahn said.
"I don't think anybody deserves anything like that no matter what orientation they are," Michael Hastings of Seal Beach told the TV station.
Long Beach police are investigating the other attacks. Anyone with information is asked to call (562) 570-7250.
Long Beach Press Telegram reporter Phillip Zonkel is keeping an eye on the developing story at his blog Out in the 562.