BEAVERTON, Ore. – An Oregon man has been charged with a federal hate crime for assaulting a gay man who was walking a pink poodle and yelling anti-gay slurs at him.
George Mason Jr., 23, saw two men walking a poodle that had been dyed pink and stopped his vehicle to confront the couple. Police said Mason shouted anti-gay slurs at the men and attacked 26-year-old David Beltier with a bolt cutter, striking him in the shoulder and on his head behind his left ear.
Mason’s wife, Saraya Gardner, was charged with obstructing justice after she lied to authorities about her husband’s whereabouts and continually changed her story about what weapon he used in the attack. She faces prison time if convicted.
Besides the federal hate crime charge, Mason was charged with second-degree intimidation, second-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon and reckless driving. In Oregon, intimidation is a bias-crime statute.
Beltier did not require hospitalization after the attack, but told the media that he and his partner was shaken and grateful that they were not killed.
SDGLN reported this on March 5, 2013:
He was saying, "Your poodle is a weird color and that's just un-American" and "f**k you, you fags" and shouting," Mark says Mason yelled at the pair, according to the New York Daily News.
Mason is then charged with hitting Beltier once in the shoulder, and then behind his left ear, with a wrench. Beltier did not require medical attention, the Associated Press reports.
"Honestly I'm devastated by it," Beltier told KVTB. "He could've gone more at it and killed me on that sidewalk."
Added Mark: "I'm just thankful he didn't have a more serious weapon like a gun and pull it out."