3 charged with hate crime

GALVESTON, Texas — Two brothers and a 17-year-old were charged with a hate crime after a violent attack at a gay bar injured two people, one of whom was hit in the head with a 4-pound rock, police said.

Marc Bosaw, 57, rode by ambulance to Clear Lake Regional Medical Center, where he received 12 staples in the back of his head. He was released following Sunday night’s attack in which police said one suspect held open the door to Robert’s Lafitte bar while two others launched an assault shortly after 8 p.m.

The suspects allegedly threw the rock and several doorstops at patrons in the bar.

“I thought I had just been slapped, and the second rock hit me here. Everything went white in my mind, and I thought that was it. I even said ‘goodbye,’” Bosaw said in an online story for The Galveston County Daily News.

James Nickelson, 39, was hit in the jaw but refused treatment.

Lawrence Henry Lewis III, 20; Lawrneil Henry Lewis, 18; and Alejandro Sam Gray, 17, all of Galveston, each face two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon with the enhancement of a hate crime, said Lt. D.J. Alvarez, a Galveston police spokesperson. He said their bonds had been set at $120,000 each. It was not immediately known whether the trio has attorneys.

The district attorney’s office authorized the hate-crime charge because the motive was to harass and the intent was to randomly assault the victims based on their sexual preference, Alvarez said.

Police took the rock that hit Bosaw as evidence. It has his hair still attached, said Yvonne Gordon, of Galveston.

Victor Clements, 47, said that as he compressed the back of his 13-year partner’s bleeding head, witnesses chased after three men and gave a description to police. Police found three men who were brought back to the bar for identification by witnesses, Alvarez said.

“I kind of blacked out, and the doctor of psychiatry was sitting next to me,” Bosaw said. “He said I had a weak pulse and made me breathe deeply and kept shaking me.”

While sitting at another bar Monday, Bosaw said he was feeling OK, except for the large and painful laceration to his head.

“It’s sad that this type of behavior occurred in our city. It was good police work” to make the arrests quickly, Alvarez said.

Lafitte bartender Joel Hickman, who was not on duty Sunday night, said the establishment is basically known as a gay bar.

“Everybody around here knows that, but not all our clientele is gay.”