April 29, 2013 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Two arrested in anti-gay assault outside Crew Club
the Crew Club, gay news, Washington Blade

A male victim says he was beaten outside the Crew Club last week. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

D.C. police on April 25 arrested two men for allegedly assaulting and robbing a Silver Spring man about 1 a.m. that day as the man stood outside the Crew Club, a gay gym and health club at 1321 14th St., N.W.

According to a police report, the two arrested men were among three young males who allegedly began striking the victim “with closed fists while calling him a homophobic slur in Spanish.”

The victim, Daryll “Dario” Flammer told NBC 4 TV News in an on-camera interview on the day of the incident that he was smoking a cigarette on the sidewalk when he was “beaten, knocked out and robbed.”

The police report, which lists the incident as a possible anti-gay hate crime, says Flammer told police officers responding to the scene that the attackers stole his iPad, which police estimate has a value of $800.

Flammer “states that he temporarily lost consciousness and noticed the listed property missing when he regained consciousness. No other property was removed from his person,” the report says. It says an ambulance was called to the scene but Flammer declined treatment.

According to the police report, among the officers responding to the scene was an affiliate member of the police Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit.

D.C. police spokesperson Gwendolyn Crump identified the men arrested as Gustavo Velasquez, 24, and Ciriaco Oxlaj, 26, both residents of Northwest D.C.  Court records show the U.S. Attorney’s office charged the men with a single count of felony robbery and did not list the incident as a hate crime.

The U.S. Attorney’s office has said in the past that it prefers to put off making a decision on whether to list assaults and other crimes as hate crimes until the cases are presented before a grand jury.

D.C. Superior Court Judge Karen Howze released Velasquez and Oxalaj on their own recognizance at an April 25 presentment hearing pending a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 14, court records show. The records show that Howze granted the release on the condition that the two men stay away from Flammer and stay away from the section of 14th Street, N.W. between Massachusetts Avenue and Rhode Island Avenue within which the Crew Club is located.

“Initially, I felt a bump on my head, a hard bump, and that knocked me to the ground,” Flammer told NBC 4 News, which was the first media outlet to report the incident.

“For a couple of seconds I was disoriented, not conscious, and then another individual took my tie and started pulling on me…and I couldn’t breathe, and he literally took the tie and ripped it off my neck,” he told NBC 4 News.

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

4 Comments
  • **BEWARE of Falsified or ‘Data-Missing’ Fields on MPD Case Reports**
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    This case’s report may have been handled pretty well by MPD. But appropriate handling of just one anti-LGBT hate crimes case– (vs. who knows how many that were ‘lost’ or misreported over the past 5 years) does not an honest and trustworthy police department make.

    So far as we know, MPD still stands rightfully indicted by Human Rights Watch for ‘losing’, falsifying or otherwise covering-up case records of rape and sexual assault victims. Watch this video again to see how MPD stalls, obfuscates, and bullies crime victims into giving up their efforts to report their crime properly, prevent future cases and receive justice…
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    MPD-5D response in NE (and likely other MPD Districts throughout the city) needs to be watched closely by residents and business owners alike, for any sign of MPD responders’ unprofessional, dishonest, discriminatory or biased policing conduct.

    Every LGBT resident and stakeholder should insist upon receiving a calling card with the responding officer’s ID and badge number, as well as the CCN (Complaint Number). As applicable, crime or accident victims should also pickup and review their own copy of a PD-10 ‘Accident Report’ or PD-251 ‘Incident or Offense Report’– usually available within 24 hours at District MPD Stations.

    Then go over the report of your crime with A FINE-TOOTH COMB. Don’t let anybody at MPD bully you, or otherwise con you into thinking that EMPTY fields or FALSE information on police reports does not matter in the prosecution of a case.

    There is no excuse for even the appearance of falsification of MPD crime case reports– whether by passively omitting data or actively misrepresenting the truth of a crime on the official MPD reports. There is also no excuse for racist, homophobic or transphobic policing in MPD– whether by frontline officers on their own, or with the tacit perceived ‘approval’ of their PSA Lieutenants and MPD’s chiefs.

    When an Assistant DC Chief of Police disregards that kind of dishonest policing conduct, then DC has a police department– probably including GLLU– which no one in DC should fully trust.

    You can file a complaint with MPD (make a copy– or maybe SEVEN first), as well as copy DC Council Judiciary and Public Safety Committee Members (see link). They are the responsible legislators for Council oversight of MPD in this city.

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  • A gay gym and health club? Everyone knows that's NOT what that place really is.

  • DC POLICE (MPD): Trust, but verify.
    Strategies For Dealing w/ MPD When Its Top Management is Malfeasant

    Blade readers, kindly forgive my overuse of URL’s above. I thought DC government URLs might be exempt via URL recognition technology. But some of us in DC forget the Blade is a national LGBT publication now, too. Blade moderators have no easy task, and I don’t want to make it more difficult for them. It’s pretty easy just to provide readers with accurate “google to” information– which I’ve provided below (see line immediately below 3-asterisked description paragraphs).

    If you are LGBTQ, a few of those removed URLs are important– esp. should you need police (MPD) help, or should MPD responders fail you in their duty to provide you professional, thorough policing services. Recapping below, with a few more tips for dealing with MPD in the ‘Lanier era’…

    A – First, do NOT blame lower level rank-and-file MPD officers for wrongdoing MPD management (their top bosses) expect of them. They have families, kids, careers and retirement benefits they have worked for all their professional lives.

    B – It is important to ALWAYS call 911 first.
    (1) Why? It is almost always the fastest way YOU to get immediate help, and…
    (2) 911/OUC time stamps and records your request for service, which remains in their database for years. It is evidence that victim(s) asked for help in a timely manner. Insist upon getting the 911 operator’s ID number. Write it down as soon as you can, and note the approximate time and YOUR phone number called from.
    (3) After first MPD responders arrive, insist upon a GLLU officer if you believe you were the victim(s) of anti-LGBTQ hate crimes
    (4) After first MPD responders arrive, insist upon a GLLU officer, should any MPD responders be discourteous, arrogant/ insolent, bullying, homophobic or transphobic in their interaction with you. Demand a GLLU or appropriate SLD officer if racism or racialist inferences are made.
    GLLU Phones: (202) 727-5427 — (202) 347-8164 TTY — FAX: (202) 724-4120

    C – CCN Nos. & BEWARE Falsified or ‘Missing’ MPD Report Data
    (1) Get a CCN (complaint no.) and ID calling card (w/ Name, Badge#)
    (2) Get a copy of your police case report: PD-10 for Accidents; or PD-251 for Incidents (assault, burglary, hate crimes, etc.)
    (3) Review your PD-10 or PD-251 carefully for accuracy. Verify the narrative written.
    (4) Make sure ‘Bias/ Hate Crime’ is checked on your 251 if applicable.
    (5) Get and USE all relevant MPD EMAIL addresses for followup. Insist upon SPECIFIC answers. CC next higher ranking MPD parties. Ask them to respond as well.
    (6) BCC yourself and appropriate third parties for corroborative evidence if ever needed.

    ***For info on PD-10 and PD-251 MPD Reports, Just GOOGLE***…
    “mpd request accident pd-10 or incident pd-251″

    D – There is no excuse for the appearance of FALSIFICATION of MPD crime case Reports (MPD forms PD-251 or PD-10) – whether by passively omitting data or actively misrepresenting the truth of a crime on the official MPD reports.

    There is also no excuse for racist/racialist inferences, homophobic or transphobic policing in MPD– whether by frontline officers on their own, or with the tacit perceived ‘approval’ of their PSA Lieutenants on up to MPD’s chiefs.

    When a Chief or an Assistant Chief of Police disregards that kind of malfeasant and dishonest policing conduct, then DC has a SUSPECT police department– probably including GLLU– which no one in DC should fully trust.

    TRUST MPD, but VERIFY MPD response and followup.

    You are entitled to professional, thorough police services– EVERY time. No exception. Accept no MPD excuse-making, ‘expert’ cop jargon, doublespeak and obfuscation from anyone at MPD– especially from Chief Lanier and/or A.C. Groomes.

    You can file a complaint with DC OFFICE OF POLICE COMPLAINTS, as well. Make a copy for yourself (or maybe SEVEN), and copy *DC Council Judiciary and Public Safety Committee Members* as well as your Ward’s Councilmember, too, esp. if the matter involves discriminatory or biased policing– and other serious local police misconduct.

    Your DC COUNCIL is responsible for police oversight of MPD police in this city. That’s the way ‘checks and balances’ of our most powerful local governmental institutions, the POLICE, works in virtually every city, county and township across America. Demand your Council’s CLOSE oversight of MPD management.

    In urban America, if a Council does not diligently and persistently perform its police department oversight functions, citizens are likely to be dealing with a very CORRUPT PD.

    ***For DC Office of Police Complaints, Just GOOGLE***…
    “file a complaint – dc office of police complaints”
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    ***For DC COUNCIL’s Judiciary and Public Safety Committee Members, GOOGLE***…
    “dc council judiciary and public safety”

    Remember, MPD is YOUR police department. Insist upon excellent, non-discriminatory performance from MPD EVERY time. Insist upon close COUNCIL oversight, as well.

    ###

  • The real story is that Valasquez and Oxalaj on their own recognizance…
    Also, why was their status in the USA not checked…. We reap what we sow, crimes like this will continue until we WAKE UP!

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