Every time society seems to be moving toward greater understanding and tolerance, there's an incident that reminds us how far we still have to go.
The bias-motivated crime arrest of Sean Boylan is a case in point.
According to an affidavit on view below, Boylan attacked a man outside a prominent Denver-area gay bar, punching him in the face and breaking the iPhone he tried to use to record the assault.
Moreover, his repetition of gay slurs convinced the victim, as well as prosecutors with the Denver District Attorney's Office, that Boylan targeted the man because of his sexual preference.
About 1:30 a.m. on September 10, according to the police report, the unnamed victim exited X Bar, located at 629 East Colfax, and was waiting to cross the street when he was approached by a stranger.
The man, later identified as Boylan, is said to have repeatedly called the victim a "fucking fag" and a "fucking faggot" and told him that he was going to "kick your ass."
The victim tried to deescalate the situation, telling Boylan to "chill," noting that "this is not okay" and pointing out that "there are cameras everywhere" — a reference to surveillance devices of the sort that are commonplace along Colfax.
A woman accompanying Boylan told him to drop the aggressiveness and go home, too.
Instead, Boylan allegedly struck out.
A witness told investigators that Boylan punched the victim in the face, knocking him to the ground. He added that Boylan also smashed the man's iPhone before any images of him could be captured.
At that point, Boylan and his companion (she's described as having been "intoxicated") fled the scene. But they didn't make a clean getaway. There were indeed surveillance cameras in the vicinity, and while such a device didn't capture the assault, one did catch a glimpse of Boylan splitting.
When the victim was presented with a photo of Boylan, he "absolutely" identified him as the assailant, the affidavit says.
This evidence was more than enough for the Denver District Attorney's Office to charge Boylan with two misdemeanors: third-degree assault and criminal mischief. But he's also facing bias-motivated crime causing injury, a felony.
If only such charges were rare. But it's been less than two months since the DA's office filed a bias-motivated-crime case against Jhane Toney, who allegedly went after two women she described as "lesbian bitches."
Progress can be infuriatingly slow, can't it?
Look below to see a larger version of Boylan's mug shot, followed by the arrest affidavit.