April 22, 2010 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Local news in brief

Eleven individuals and one organization were recognized Tuesday at the Gay & Lesbian Activists Alliance Distinguished Service Awards. The recipients included DC Agenda senior news reporter Lou Chibbaro Jr. GLAA described Chibbaro as “the standard-bearer for gay-focused journalism” in D.C. who has spent more than 30 years “chasing down leads to get to the bottom of all manner of stories related to the LGBT community.” Awards also went to Joan Biren, Sean Bugg, Michael Crawford, Rev. Monique Ellison, Brian Flowers, Mark Levine, David Mariner, Nick McCoy, Brian Moore and Sultan Shakir. D.C. Clergy United for Marriage Equality, co-chaired by pastors Dennis Wiley, Christine Wiley and Rob Hardies, also won recognition. (DC Agenda photo by Michael Key)

Armed robbers steal cash from Nellie’s bar

A gun wielding male suspect and a man accompanying him forced the owner of Nellie’s Sports Bar at 900 U St., N.W., to turn over several hundred dollars in cash Monday afternoon while the bar was closed to the public, according to owner Douglas Schantz.

Schantz said the two suspects fled the premises after grabbing a container he was carrying bearing the cash, which was to be used to make change for customers’ purchases of drinks and food and which he believes was under $500. He said the suspects entered the bar between noon and 1 p.m. through an unlocked rear door that construction workers had used to enter the bar earlier in the day to do renovation work.

According to Schantz, the entire incident was captured by the bar’s video surveillance system and D.C. police have a “very good” image of the two suspects. Police planned to release photos made from the video this week. Schantz said he would send copies to the news media, including DC Agenda, for publication, with a request that anyone recognizing the suspects contact police.

The police’s Gay & Lesbian Liaison Unit was assisting in the investigation of the incident. Schantz said all officers responding to the scene were cooperative and helpful, and did a “thorough job” of searching for evidence, including a hat that one of the suspects left behind as he fled the bar.

LOU CHIBBARO JR.

GLLU probes domestic violence, carjacking incidents

Officers assigned to the D.C. police Gay & Lesbian Liaison Unit provided assistance to regular patrol officers in two separate incidents on April 16 — a reported carjacking at 3rd and K St., N.W., and an alleged domestic violence assault on the 2300 block of 24th St., S.E.

According to GLLU supervisor Sgt. Carlos Mejia, both incidents involve members of the transgender community. He said officers with the Seventh Police District arrested a man identified as the boyfriend of a transgender woman, who reported that the man punched and pushed her.

Mejia said the second incident involves a police investigation into an alleged armed carjacking that took place in the early morning hours of April 16 in a location known as a place where transgender prostitutes congregate.

“The complainant reports that he was approached by four individuals who assaulted him and took his vehicle,” Mejia said in a statement. “GLLU officers and affiliate officers were called to the scene. The suspects are possible members of the transgender community.”

Mejia’s statement, which he sent by e-mail to activists on the GLLU’s e-mail list, did not provide additional details, and he could not immediately be reached for comment.

LOU CHIBBARO JR.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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