^
Keep New Times Free
4
| Crime |

Phoenix DJ Austin Head's Assault Designated as Anti-Gay Hate Crime

Police say the assault of Phoenix DJ, activist, and former New Times clubs editor Austin Head and a friend -- which was detailed this morning on our music blog, Up on the Sun -- was an anti-gay hate crime.

Phoenix police Sergeant Steve Martos says the case has been designated as a "bias crime," and the charges have been upgraded a bit for the two alleged attackers.

See also:
-Phoenix DJ Austin Head Injured in Hate Crime Assault

Police say officers responded to the assault call near Central Avenue and Osborn Road around 2 a.m. Friday, and police believed it could have been a hate crime from the get-go.

"Two men targeted us for appearing 'gay' and [yelled] homophobic slurs," Head told New Times. "I was on my bike and my friend was on foot. He was a bit behind, so I stopped and waited on the corner for him to catch up when they crossed the street yelling slurs. They then attacked us both as we tried to flee with my friend attempting to get on the handle bars. They pushed us off the bike then proceeded with punching. I was knocked unconscious and eventually taken to the hospital by ambulance."

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Jermon Barnes, 22, and Ernie Barnes 24, were arrested shortly after the attack, and were both jailed on assault charges.

Now, Martos says the Barnses will be charged with aggravated assault, which is a felony charge.


Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.