Monday, March 17, 2008

Rochester Gay Man Beaten Unconscious

Rochester, N.Y. is suppose to be one of the most tolerant cities, but you wouldn't know it sometimes. Look at this mans face. When they find his attacker, I hope that they lock him up for a very long time.

Hate crime victim talks about the attack.

He said he was beat up until he was unconscious because he's gay, and police agree. Now police are looking to arrest a suspect in what they're calling a hate crime. News 10NBC talked exclusively with the victim.

Lance Neve said he was in the bar minding his own business and was then attacked.

"I was punched and I went to the floor," Lance said. "He continued to beat my head into the floor." Lance Neve doesn't remember much until he woke up at Strong Hospital. "With a tube down my throat and my arms tied to the bed," Lance said.

Mr. Neve has a surprising reaction. See more including video at the link.

Update March 17th-

The jerk turned himself in. Jesse Parsons turned himself in to Ogden Police. On the TV they said that Parsons has been in jail before. The attack left Lance Neve with a fractured skull, a broken nose as well as multiple bruises. Parsons is currently in jail and held on $15,000 bail. He is scheduled to be in court on Thursday.


Scott said...

THAT was not cool that somebody beat this man! I can understand a guy feeling uncomfortable if he was actively being hit on but even that doesn't deserve a beating like this! Especially since this guy was just sitting there.

As for waking up while intubated? THAT SUCKS! I have done it before, and you are unaware of your surroundings but the only thing that is immediately evident is that you think you are suffocating (even though the tube is breathing for you). They restrain your hands because the normal reaction is to rip the tube out of your throat, and with the inflated balloon, that would cause LOTS of damage!

If you are curious about my cousin, here are her blogs:


Awake In Rochester said...

Yes, even the police labeled it as a "hate crime". I think that the law is more sticked on hate crimes here.

They just caught the attacker. I will post a follow up, when WHEC TV posts the info. I just heard it on the news.

Looks like your cousin likes photos. Her gallery has been inactive since Aug 2007. The other was inactive until last week. Your on both her "link", list. That's a good sign. Maybe she is keeping the door open.

Anonymous said...


Awake In Rochester said...

Hello Anonymous,

If you know something then you should tell the police, not me. The police has specified that this is a "hate crime", from the beginning. At any rate, if Mr. Neve was "agitating" it would not give anyone the right to violently attack him. After all it was Mr. Neve that was brutally attacked, his face bashed in, bones broken, hospitalized. There is NO justification for that! NONE whatsoever! Again, you need to talk to the police if you know something specific.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous:

The suspect IS a jerk. ANYONE who would beat another human being in this manner, REGARDLESS of what piss-poor excuse they have, is a jerk, an asshat, or whatever other adjective you might choose to use.

Making excuses for this sort of behavior makes you look like the kind of person that won't take some personal accountability, either.

And people that won't take some personal accountability, well, they're just jerks, too.

Awake In Rochester said...

Hello milindoe,

The genesis of your point is well taken. However, lets not go any further with the name calling. I'm still trying to figure out what an "asshat" is. lol.

It has since been reported that Mr. Parsons faces a drunk driving charge, and he spent time in prison for burglary. Obviously this is not a model citizen.

tom sheepandgoats said...

I know someone who similarly was beaten by some unknown passerby on a city street. His injuries took weeks to heal. His crime? He had "looked" at his attackers, hae made eye contact, and that got them mad. But sexual orientation was not a factor, so it was not a hate crime.

The elevation of certain crimes as hate crimes, based on sexual orientation and a few other factors, strikes me as odd. I assure you that my acquaintance suffered every bit as much as the man you write about. And he did not fail to imagine that "hate" was involved in his beating.

I'm all for throwing the full power of the law at the attacker in your article, but why the separate category?

Awake, it's been awhile since we exchanged comments, which I think was near your blog's beginning. You've done a very good job with this blog. I like the quality of your commenters. I understand the necessity to screen comments. On a subject to which any controversy is attached, one is sure to get abusive comments....I do too. I like that you take comments both in agreement and disagreement with your views, providing they are presented civilly. Even the guy on this post who writes in all caps....he's borderline impolite, certainly outraged, but since he represents a valid viewpoint, you take the comment. I like your cordial responses to all commenters, and the cordial atmosphere of your entire blog.

Good job.

Awake In Rochester said...

Hi Tom,

It's good to hear from you! Yes, it has been awhile. I have tried to leave several messages lately at your typepad blog, but was rejected because it did not recognize my gmail address. They say that it is not a "legitimate" e-mail.

Mr. Neve was beaten up because he was gay, that makes it a hate crime. The police has labeled it as a hate crime from the very beginning. The article goes into a bit of detail. I'm sorry that you know someone who was beaten. There is no good reason for anyone to beat another person.

Thank you for the complement on my blog. I am now monitoring because some bloggers are having trouble with people sending viruses. Also someone is posing as a blogger I know, pretending to be her. So I am being very careful now. I'm not monitoring due to any negative comments, or opposing comments. So far no one has crossed the line. At this time, "Anonymous" people need to sign up for a blog to leave messages. Signing up for a blog is quick, and easy.

I will try again to leave another message on you blog. I hope that it works this time. You might want to notify typepad of the problem.

Anonymous said...

tom sheepandgoats, I find your questions intriguing -- not the questions themselves, but that you would question why a gay man's attackers would be charged with a hate crime when your friend wasn't.

In order for something to be charged as a hate crime, it has to be shown that the crime was committed solely on the fact that the person was [insert protected class here].

In your friend's unfortunate case, it was based on an action (no justification for the attack, mind you) based on your assertion that it was for a "look," for "making eye contact."

Gays and lesbians (or blacks, Jews, or other protected class) have violence levied against them because they're who they are. They don't have to make eye contact or be involved in an action. They just have to exist.

And, if epithets are uttered during the act of violence, it's classified as a hate crime because the epithets sort of "prove" the violence is based on that person's status in race, religion, orientation, etc.

It's not to say that your friend suffered less but the law requires that violence based solely on the person's individual differences be classified as a hate crime.

Hate crime classification carries a harsher penalty in order to educate the public that this sort of discriminatory violence cannot be condoned. Perhaps, in time, gays and lesbians will no longer NEED to be in a protected class.

There's a part of me that sort of resents (here's a personal confession) when a straight person says "Hey, how come *I* can't get that" whenever gays/lesbians are able to take a positive step forward toward equality.

It makes me want to say "How's it feel?" I know that doesn't solve anything and it only antagonizes, but there you are.

Awake In Rochester said...

Hi milindoe,

Thank you for your comment. You addressed the legal issue much better then I did.

tom sheepandgoats said...


It’s not so much your contention that a hate crime is MORE important that I question. It is the necessary corollary that an equally brutal assault such as my pal suffered is LESS important….less deserving of our attention, less demanding of finite police powers, since it is now eclipsed by something more urgent, . He should simply “suck it up” and get on with life, since we have more important types of crime to concern ourselves with.

In fact, my friend is white. His attackers were black. He would not have been any happier to be beaten if they were white, nor less anxious to see them brought to justice.

pat said...

Tom Sheepandgoats, I think you're still missing the point. You need to look at the definition of hate crime. I find it interesting that you would add, later, that your friend was white and attacked by blacks - it kind of gives me the perception that you're trying to turn it into an argument for the repeal of hate crime laws.

Hate crime legislation wasn't enacted JUST BECAUSE of simple assaults (although, I believe that phrase to be a form of oxymoron).

These laws came into being because of the acts of violence against Matthew Shephard, Brandon Teena, Gwen Araujo and others like them.

Brandon Teena, born Teena Renae Brandon, struggled his whole life with gender identity crisis. His own mother rejected his gender identification and referred to him as her "daughter."

After an arrest for a petty crime, where he was listed as Teena Brandon, his secret was revealed to his friends and acquaintences. During a party, they made him drop his pants, so they could prove to a female friend of his that he was, in fact, female. They then attacked him, threw him in a car, took, him to a remote spot, and raped him. They returned to the party where Teena escaped out a bathroom window. After reporting the rape, Teena found that the police would decline to investigate (Sherriff Laux was also criticized by other people after the murder for his lack of action and his attitude toward Brandon — at one point Laux referred to Brandon as "it")and, a few days later, the two men who raped Teena found him and murdered him, along with two acquaintences who were trying to hide him.

Gwen Araujo was born male, but was transitioning to female. She had dated and had sexual encounters with male acquaintences (probably just oral sex). But at a party, she was physically forced to reveal her true gender and those males became so enraged, they bludgeoned her with dumbbells, canned vegetables, frying pan. After all of that, she was taken to the garage where they strangled her with a rope. Her murderers used the "gay panic" defense -- they were convicted of second degree murder WITHOUT the hate crime attachment.

Rebecca Wight was killed when she and her partner, Claudia Brenner, were shot by Stephen Roy Carr while hiking and camping along the Appalachian Trail. Carr later claimed that he became enraged by the couple's lesbianism when he saw them having sex. Carr claimed the woman taunted him by having sex in front of him.

On March 9, 1995, Scott Amedure was murdered after revealing his homosexual attraction to his friend Jonathan Schmitz on The Jenny Jones Show.

The July 1, 1999, murders of gay couple Gary Matson and Winfield Mowder by white supremacist brothers Matthew and Tyler Williams. Matthew Williams claimed that by killing the couple he was following "obeying the law of God," because he believed homosexuality violated God's laws. Williams said he hoped his actions would inspire further violence against homosexuals and ethnic minorities.

One notorious incident of gay-bashing occurred on September 22, 2000. Ronald Gay entered a gay bar in Roanoke, Virginia and opened fire on the patrons, killing Danny Overstreet and injuring six others. Ronald said he was angry over what his name now meant, and deeply upset that three of his sons had changed their surname. He claimed that he had been told by God to find and kill lesbians and gay men, describing himself as a "Christian Soldier working for my Lord".

On February 12, 2008, Lawrence "Larry" King, a 15 year old junior highschool student was shot by a classmate at E.O. Green School in Oxnard, California. He was taken off life support after doctors declared him brain dead on February 15. Why did he die? Because he wore girls' clothes and it "freaked out" the boys, including the one who shot him.

Matthew Shepherd is the most recognized name associated with violence against gays. Shortly after midnight on October 7, 1998, 21-year-old Shepard met McKinney and Henderson in a bar. McKinney and Henderson posed as gay men and offered Shepard a ride in their car. Shepard was robbed, pistol whipped, tortured, tied to a fence in a remote, rural area, and left to die. They attempted to use the "gay panic defense", arguing that they were driven to temporary insanity by Shepard's alleged sexual advances toward them.

In each of these instances, sexuality was the driving force behind the act of violence. It wasn't an act (pushing or saying something provocative). It wasn't retaliation. It wasn't greed. It wasn't drug-related. It was based solely on the fact that these individuals were in a class of people who regularly endure violence based solely on their sexuality.

If your friend was, in fact, white and beaten by blacks BECAUSE he was white (not because he had a coat they wanted, or because of any other reason than his color) then that, too, is considered a hate crime.

If, however, your friend was white and beaten by blacks because of something he said, or something he was wearing, or some other action (or lack thereof), such as a "look," then it's not a hate crime.

It's still heinous, in my mind, but it doesn't qualify based on the reasons given for the violence. Some people take "looks" a certain way. I am always accusing my partner of having a look that has a "tone," and it floors her because she doesn't intend for it to be that way. We don't realize what our body language says and, frankly, his body language could well have given off signals.

While I'm sorry your friend was the victim of violence, it's worlds apart from a hate crime, based on what you've told us.

Awake In Rochester said...

Hello, Tom Sheepandgoats and, Pat and Milindoe,

First of all- This is an interesting discussion. I want to thank you for expressing your opinions in a kind, courteous manor.

Secondly - I believe that Pat and Milindoe are the same person. I'm not positive, but believe so. I just wanted to straighten that out for Tom. Ah, and myself.

tom sheepandgoats said...


The crimes you describe are graphic and repulsive.

They are sufficiently graphic and repulsive that already existing laws are more enough to render harsh sentences.

Except for a few details as to motive, similar crimes have been perpetrated on victims where sexual orientation was not a factor. I'm not so sure as you that these latter crimes are LESS important.

Still, Pat, I'm not interested in picking a fight. I certainly see your point, and perhaps if I were in your shoes I would see things as you do. I said in my first comment that I found hate crime laws "odd." I haven't called for their repeal.

Note to Awake: your word verification made me type in "mshit" I could hardly bring myself to do it.

Pat said...

In fact, Pat and milindoe ARE one and the same. But, when anonymous posting is turned off, I have to sign in with my blogger ID, which is milindoe. And a couple of times I couldn't post here with my Wordpress ID and had to use my blogger one.

Tom, I nearly sputtered my coffee on my monitor when I read that you had to type "mshit" for word verification. Very funny.

You know, you probably hit the nail on the head. I think a person's understanding, and acceptance of something, is based primarily on their experience with it.

I can't imagine what it must be like to be blind or deaf. I can sympathize with the plight the blacks endured through slavery and the civil rights struggle, but I can't truly feel what they felt.

I can't even imagine what Matthew Shepherd, Gwen Aruajo or Lawrence King endured -- but I DO know what it's like to face discrimination based solely on my sexual orientation.

And, until you face REAL discrimination, it's hard to wrap your brain around why protections must be in place.

Please understand that I don't mean this to sound insulting but a Christian white male has no real knowledge or understanding of discrimination. It's not an attack, it's a fact of life.

I think about young Lawrence King, 15 years old, well liked by his family AND school mates (for the most part). But his "difference" was that he identified as female and for that and that alone, another 15 year old shot him twice in the back of the head.

This sort of thing is no different than the white men who lynched blacks in the south...just because they were black.

These are crimes committed out of pure hate for a person's color or orientation -- not for anything they did, but for who they were.

This is why hate crime laws MUST be enacted and enforced.

Thanks for such interesting discourse.

Awake In Rochester said...

Ah, sorry Pat. I did have anonymous posting turned off for awhile.

Pat and Tom,

I alway like it when you visit. Your both intelligent, thoughtful, caring individuals. I have learned a few things through your conversation. Please visit my blog again soon!

tom sheepandgoats said...


but a Christian white male has no real knowledge or understanding of discrimination

Well, maybe a little.

You mentioned Jews as a protected class, so I assume Jehovah's Witnesses should be as well. (that's my group, as is apparant in my blog) Or any religious affiliation. Limited searching will show you that Jehovah's Witnesses are among the most persecuted faiths ever.

During WWII, Hitler sent every one he could lay his hands on to the concentration camps where about 2000 died. In this country, at the same time, they were routinely assaulted by mobs & their possessions destroyed.

To this day they are banned in dozens of countries and persecuted in all those and more. Even some enlightened countries join in. France, for example, levies a 60% tax on activities of JWs, including contributions for a recent Rwanda relief campaign.

True enough, I have not experienced such pronounced opposition, but then, if I read your comments correctly, you have not experienced the attacks that you describe either.

Awake In Rochester said...

Hi Tom and Pat,

I will chime in here a minute. I'm a bit of a WW2 buff, and realize that Jehovah's Witnesses were persecuted. If they refused to salute the flag, and/or refused to serve in the military, they could be beaten, or even end up in a Nazi concentration camp, etc. The most interesting thing to me is that they were the only group on Hitlers hit list that could reverse their fate. If they complied, they could be set free, however, few chose to comply, and deny their faith. That's amazing!

By the way, homosexuals were another group on Hitlers hit list, and could end up being executed in concentration camps.

Hm, maybe Hitler should have taken an anger management class.