The FBI released its list of last year’s hate crimes. While the City of Pensacola did not report any hate crimes, Escambia County reported three.
The first two occurred over the summer at the beach. One was racially-based, while the other pertained to sexual orientation.
In June, officers responded to an incident near Sideline’s. Two men from Illinois reported that two other men had asked if they were “faggots,” before placing one of the tourist in a chokehold (reportedly until he passed out) and punching the other in the face. They refused medical treatment.
Later on, in August, authorities responded to the boardwalk where a young man had been picking fights with people. Witnesses reported that he was calling people “towelhead” and telling them to “go back to Afghanistan.”
The man had injured his hand in one of his altercations and the county jail refused to admit him. Deputies eventually released him to his girlfriend at a McDonald’s and wrote a warrant affidavit for judicial review. The man apparently told deputies that he realized he probably should not have been saying such things.
Back on this side of the bridge, authorities arrested a white male in October after he began fighting with a black male, who he had identified as gay. The crime was classified as a sexual-orientation hate-crime; there was no evidence of racism.
According to witnesses, the suspect attempted to fight the man with a pool stick, and also punched him in the face; and punched one of his friends in the back of the head. Everyone involved received injuries, but all parties refused treatment.