Santa Cruz police have arrested two people and are seeking a third suspect in the beating of a gay man outside a downtown bar over the weekend, a case being investigated as a hate crime.The assault was reported at about 12:50 a.m. Sunday at the Blue Lagoon at 923 Pacific Ave.Officers arrived to find the injured victim, a 31-year-old Santa Cruz man, chasing after another man who had stolen his cell phone, police spokesman Zach Friend said.Police believe the altercation began outside the Blue Lagoon, where the suspect used derogatory language related to the victim’s sexual orientation, Friend said.Back inside bar, the victim confronted the suspect and took a photo of him with his cell phone camera, prompting the suspect to physically assault him while continuing to use derogatory slurs, Friend said. Another man jumped in and grabbed the victim’s phone from his hands.When police arrived, they apprehended the man who had allegedly taken the cell phone and arrested him. That man, identified as 23-year-old David Douglas Cameron, was booked into county jail on suspicion of robbery, Friend said. Police also arrested 18-year-old Meisha Galpren-Gibson on suspicion of being drunk in public, disturbing the peace and fighting.The main suspect who initiated the altercation is still at large, but police were able to identify him using the photo the victim took with his cell phone camera.Once in custody, that man faces one count of battery with serious bodily injury and violation of civil rights with a hate crime enhancement, Friend said.The victim suffered cuts and bruises to his face and body but refused medical treatment.
Copyright © 2010 by Bay City News, Inc. Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.