Felony Gaybashing in Provincetown
At approximately 12:30 AM on Monday, September 10th, a New Bedford resident was the victim of a violent assault and battery near Spiritus Pizza in Provincetown. The victim was discovered unconscious at around 3 AM, lying on the beach covered in bruises, dried blood, and lacerations. He had suffered serious head and facial trauma, but the responding officer failed to arrange for medical care. The last thing the victim recalls hearing before he was struck in the head with a blunt object and blacked out was the word “faggot.” The perpetrators remain at large, but it is unclear whether Provincetown Police are conducting an active investigation.
Given the serious bodily injury the victim suffered, and the clear bias indicator evidence, the assault and battery qualifies as a felony hate crime under G.L. c. 265, § 39 and felony interference with civil rights by force under G.L. c. 265, § 37. The penalties for these two crimes alone are a maximum 15 years in state prison; coupled with the penalties for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, the perpetrators face a possible sentence of 25 years in state prison.
This horrific assault comes at a time when the Provincetown Police Department is under fire over the violent arrest of Boston DJ Barry Scott at a backyard birthday party on July 14th. Mr. Scott was left bloodied and bruised by the arresting officers, although he had complied with their demand to stop the music, and announced that he was not resisting them. Mr. Scott, 44, stands 5’ 4” and weighs 130 lbs. The arresting officers, summer cops who had received little training, were both strapping six footers of college age. Mr. Scott is currently facing charges of disorderly conduct and disturbing the police for allegedly uttering the words “The Provincetown Police are here to ruin our night. We hate them.” after the music was turned off.
The Anti-Violence Project has mounting concerns about the safety of LGBT visitors to Provincetown given these two cases of serious violence in a short time period. According to Chairperson Don Gorton, “We lack confidence that the Provincetown Police Department, under its current interim leadership, is willing or able to adequately protect LGBT visitors. The Department is incapably led, seriously understaffed, undertrained, and undersupervised”. Gorton announced that the Anti-Violence Project would continue and step up its advocacy efforts until confidence is restored in the Provincetown Police Department: “The Provincetown Police Department desperately needs to be reformed.”