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Garden Grove Man Attacked : Laguna Police Probe Yet Another Assault

Times Staff Writer

Laguna Beach police are investigating a report that a man was attacked and beaten by at least two men with shaved heads in the city’s gay bar district last Friday night.

Police officials said the attackers made no references to gays, as had been the case in at least four instances of violence against homosexuals in Laguna Beach earlier this summer. Since the victim in this incident reported that he did not get a good look at his assailants, Deputy Police Chief James Spreine said Wednesday, there is little hope of making arrests in the case.

According to police reports, the 40-year-old Garden Grove man was walking in the 1300 block of Gaviota Drive at 11:30 p.m. Friday when he was knocked down from behind by four men.

The men kicked and punched the man, but said nothing and ran off, according to police reports. The victim, who refused medical treatment, identified at least two of the men as having shaved heads, but could provide no further description, police said.

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The attack occurred near where two gay men were robbed and beaten June 19. One of the men subsequently lost an eye.

So-Called ‘Skinheads’

On July 15, three men with shaved heads who are members of a so-called “skinhead” gang beat two gay men in separate assaults in Laguna’s Heisler Park, where homosexuals often meet at night. One of the victims required 80 stitches to close a head wound.

Three Huntington Beach men were later arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

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In addition, the district attorney’s office announced last week that the three will be prosecuted under a new state law making it a civil rights offense to harass people because of their sexual orientation. It is the first time in the county that the law will be applied.

The three remain in the Orange County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond each.

On July 31, a man identified by local police as a transient was beaten and kicked in Heisler Park by three men who, authorities said, had apparently assumed the transient was gay. The three attackers fired a gun, but no one was hit.

Responding to a community outcry following the beatings, the City Council on Aug. 16 adopted a resolution denouncing the attacks and calling on the district attorney’s office for vigorous prosecution. Police patrols were also intensified in the gay cruising areas.

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