St. Maarten police have arrested the primary suspect in the April 6 alleged gay-bash attack of two vacationing CBS News employees.
"Wonderful. What we all wanted was for this crime not to go unpunished,'' said CBS
News production secretary Ryan Smith, 25, who suffered a smashed skull in the attack.
A plumber nicknamed Duracell, 21, is being held, said Taco Stein, St. Maarten's chief prosecutor.
Duracell struck Smith and CBS News senior producer Dick Jefferson, 51, in the head
with a tire iron, witnesses said.
""He says that he was there during the altercation, but he denies being the one who
wielded the tire iron,'' Stein told The Miami Herald.
A woman and two men already are being held in the attack, which happened about 3 a.m. near Bamboo Bernie's bar in Dutch St. Maarten.
"They were just an obnoxious bunch out for a night of making trouble,'' Stein said. "The gay thing was a detail, but not a main motive.''
Stein said that according to St. Maarten law, the four won't be publicly identified
until they go to trial, probably in August or September.
The suspects began fighting with Smith and his boyfriend, Justin Swensen, inside Bamboo Bernie's, witnesses said.
Outside, the four attacked Smith, Swensen, Jefferson and several others. Duracell
struck Smith and Jefferson with a tire iron, witnesses told Stein.
Both men suffered severe head injuries. Smith was flown to Miami's Jackson Memorial
Hospital and underwent brain surgery. He recuperated in South Florida for about a month, then returned to New York City where he and his friends live.
Last week, doctors in New York replaced a portion of Smith's shattered skull with a
What: Being Gay and Bicultural: Conversations from a Hyphenated Florida is part of a series of discussions on the positive contributions of diversity and biculturality in Miami Beach. Co-sponsored by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
Who: The discussion will be moderated by National Gay and LesbianTask Force board member David da Silva Cornell. Panelists are Sergio Baradat, visual artist; Kimberly Diehl, writer and activist; Mubarak Dahir, editor of the Express Newspaper; Russell Roybal, director of Movement Building, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; and Teresa Verges, assistant regional director, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Where: Arts at St. John's, St. John's Church, 4760 Pinetree Dr., Miami Beach, Fla.
When: Tuesday, June 13, 7–9 p.m.
Admission: Free, and free on-site parking available.
For more information, visit www.artsatstjohns.com.
Many of the most satisfied members of the Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce aren't gay or lesbian. They're not bisexual or transgender.
Of about 400 paid members, 40 percent are not gay, according to chamber President Steve Adkins.
''We like to call them our ally friends,'' Adkins said. ``They are our biggest supporters and derive the biggest benefits.''
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