Cpl. Keil Joseph Cronauer, 22 (left) and Lance Cpl. Christopher Charles Stanzel 23 (right)
Two Marines have been arrested [misdemeanor battery charges] for allegedly beating a gay man in Savannah, Georgia. Keil Cronauer and Christopher Stanzel are accused of attacking Kieran Daly so badly that he suffered bruises on his brain, reports the Savannah Morning News. In addition to the bruises, Daly suffered two seizures immediately after the attack. His friends performed CPR. While Cronauer and Stanzel told police that Daly was harassing them, Daly explained that the two were mad because they thought that he had winked at one of them. The Morning News reports: "The guy thought I was winking at him," Daly said. "I told him, 'I was squinting, man. ... I'm tired.'" Daly said one of the men told him he demanded respect because he served in Iraq. And at least one hurled slurs at him as he tried to walk away."That's the last thing I remember is walking away," Daly said. Because Georgia is one of just five states that does not have legislation requiring stiffer penalties for hate crimes, the marines were released to military police. The station reports that Cronauer and Stanzel are based at the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, South Carolina and are currently restricted to the base.
There are many sad things in the story, but the most perplexing question for me is why aren't these Marines in a brig and just merely confined to their base? This story during Gay Pride month confirms for me precisely the need for hate crimes laws: states and localities refusing to treat these cases in a serious manner. The FBI and Justice Dept are looking into the possibility of filing charges under the recently enacted Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
Here's more information, and check out their commanding officer's reaction to all this. It will make your blood boil!