Man accused of skinny jeans hate crime against musicians turns himself in

A man accused of attacking three Sacramento-area musicians because they wore skinny jeans turned himself in to police Tuesday night.

Timothy Brownell, 25, was wanted on hate crime charges after allegedly yelling a homophobic slur at the musicians Sunday and assaulting them with a knife because of their skinny jeans, Sacramento police said. He turned himself in about 9:18 p.m. Tuesday at Sacramento County’s main jail.

Brownell was initially arrested after the attack on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and possessing a firearm but was released on bond. Police then issued an arrest warrant for him Monday when the attack was reclassified as a hate crime.

“The Sacramento Police Department has zero tolerance for these crimes,” police said in a statement.

Alex Lyman, one of the men stabbed in the 11:44 p.m. attack near 21st and O streets, said Brownell approached him without provocation and called him a homophobic slur and attacked him because he wore skinny jeans.

“Nothing was done to provoke this,” Lyman said.

Lyman and Weston Richmond, who was also injured, are guitarists in the Sacramento-area rock band Slaves. Blake Abbey, the third musician injured, is the lead singer of another Sacramento band, Musical Charis.

All three took to social media to describe the attack.

Richmond suffered a broken arm and minor cuts.

“This man literally did all this cause we wear skinny jeans.... What a jerk,” he wrote on Instagram in a thread that includes profanity.

Abbey described one of his injuries as a 4-inch cut that narrowly missed his spleen. He also suffered cuts on his throat and arms.

“Wish the world could stop hating what they don't understand,” he said in an Instagram message, attached to a photo of him taken at a hospital.

On Tuesday, Abbey posted more photos of his injuries on Facebook and described his fear of being hurt again by Brownell, who was still at large.

“I can't sleep .… I can't even feel the top of my arm and this guy gets released from jail over night [without] a scratch on him. He has no idea what I'm going thru physically and mentally.”

He said he forgave Brownell for the pain he inflicted, but was having a hard time understanding why he was released from jail.

Supporters are organizing an “I wear skinny jeans” fundraiser with all proceeds going to the musicians. Organizers asked those who planned to attend to wear skinny jeans because "we cannot let the poor actions of a few ... affect the many."

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Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times


11:14 a.m., June 24: This story has been updated with the suspect turning himself in to police.

The story was originally published at 7:40 p.m., June 23.