June 12, 2018 at 5:11 pm EST | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Arrest made in 5th D.C. anti-gay assault since April
Doggy Style Bakery, gay news, Washington Blade

A suspect allegedly ripped down Pride decorations at a Dupont Circle business on Sunday and assaulted a shop employee.

D.C. police on Sunday arrested a 34-year-old District man for allegedly destroying Pride decorations attached to the outside of a Dupont Circle area pet grooming shop and for allegedly assaulting one of the shop’s employees and threatening to assault another.

According to a police arrest affidavit, Uduak E. Iben allegedly stated “fuck gay people” while attacking two employees of Doggy Style Bakery, Boutique and Pet Spa at 1642 R Street, N.W. after they asked him to stop damaging the Pride decorations.

The affidavit says the incident occurred about 5 p.m. Sunday, June 10, one day after the Capital Pride Parade traveled along 17th Street a short distance from where the pet spa is located and on the same day that the Capital Pride Festival and Concert took place a few miles away on Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Police charged Iben with one count each of Simple Assault, Destruction of Property, and Attempted Threats to Do Bodily Harm. He pleaded not guilty to the charges at an arraignment in D.C. Superior Court on Monday and was released on his own recognizance pending a status hearing set for July 10.

The incident marks the fifth time since April 15 that one or more male suspects have attacked male victims in D.C. while yelling anti-gay slurs. The latest incident at the pet spa became the second time police have made an arrest in one of the five incidents.

All of the incidents have occurred in different locations, with three of the five taking place near gay bars or gay clubs. Based on the two arrests and descriptions of the suspects in the three unsolved cases, the perpetrators appear to be different people in each of the incidents.

In the latest incident at the pet spa, the arrest affidavit says the incident began when Iben entered the establishment and became “loud and boisterous” and management personnel asked him to leave.

“The defendant departed the establishment and then proceeded to rip a Gay Pride Ribbon in half which was affixed to the establishment,” the affidavit says. “Complainant one (1) approached the defendant followed by Complainant two (2) and asked the defendant to stop,” the affidavit continues.

“The defendant refused to stop and continued to destroy the property while simultaneously stating “fuck gay people” and then threw several punches at Complainant – however none took effect,” it says. “Complainant one (1) took the defendant to the ground and maintained control of him until my arrival on the scene,” says the affidavit, which was written by one of the arresting officers.

A separate charging document says Iben threatened to assault other complainant, referred to as Complainant 2, resulting in his being charged with Attempted Threats to Do Bodily Harm.

The affidavit says Complainant 2 corroborated the information given by Complainant 1. It says that while being interviewed by the officers on the scene defendant Iben stated to Complainant 2, “Fuck you, you fucking bitch. I’m going to fuck you in the ass.”

A separate police incident report lists the incident as a suspected anti-gay hate crime based on the victims’ actual or perceived sexual orientation.

Court records from Maryland show that Iben has been arrested numerous times on mostly misdemeanor offenses in Montgomery County since 2010. The records show that at least three 2018 cases are still pending, one for a Jan. 18 arrest for “intoxicated public disturbance;” another for a Feb. 14 disorderly conduct arrest; and the third for a May 7 arrest for possessing an open container of an alcoholic beverage. The court records show Iben was living in Montgomery County at the time of the three arrests.

The first of the five known anti-gay assaults that occurred this year in D.C. took place about 12:30 a.m. April 15 at the corner of Vermont Avenue and U Street, N.W., near where four gay bars are located. The incident involved three unidentified suspects assaulting two gay men, who were treated and released from a nearby hospital. The victims said the suspects called them anti-gay names.

The second incident occurred about 1 a.m. on May 20 when a gay man was attacked and beaten by two or three male suspects at the corner of Sherman Avenue and Harvard St., N.W. while they shouted anti-gay names. The victim wasn’t seriously injured.

The third incident took place about 6:30 p.m. on May 27 along the 1300 block of 14th Street, N.W. near three gay clubs when an unidentified male suspect yelled anti-gay names at two men walking on the sidewalk and punched one of them in the face.

The fourth incident occurred about 11:50 p.m. on Thursday, June 6, when 33-year-old D.C. resident Bertrand J. Lebeau Jr. allegedly punched a male victim in the back of the head and stomped on his cell phone while calling the victim a “faggot,” according to a police report. The report says that incident took place on the 100 block of 7th Street, N.W. next to the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden.

Police charged Lebeau with one count each of simple assault and destruction of property. They listed the incident as a suspected anti-gay hate crime. He was ordered held without bond because of his two previous assault arrests in D.C. earlier this year were still pending in court.

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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