The drunk redneck whose vicious anti-gay assault at the Dallas airport was captured on a video that rocketed around the world has been charged with misdemeanor assault and probably faces at most, a $1000 fine. John Wright reports at Lone Star Q:
According to the report obtained by Lone Star Q, the man’s name is McCleish Christmas Benham, 27. He is currently charged with public intoxication and simple assault, both class-C misdemeanors each punishable by a maximum $500 fine, but no jail time. However, if prosecutors choose to utilize Texas’ hate crimes law, they could enhance the assault charge to a class-B misdemeanor. Class-B misdemeanors are punishable by 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine per offense.
As you see by the map at the bottom of this post, Texas does have a hate crimes law that includes sexual orientation (but not gender identity). Local activists should get loud.
On the arrest report Benham’s home is listed as Shelbyville, Tennessee. From the arresting officer’s report on the victim:
“I identified the older white male who was the target of Benham’s assaultive behavior by his DL. He was identified as [redacted]. [Redacted] told me that he witnessed Mr. Benham verbally assaulting a female American Airlines gate agent. [Redacted] said he told Mr. Benham that the police were on the way and he needed to calm down. [Redacted] said Mr. Benham called him a ‘San Frisco Faggot’ and then punched him in his right eye. [Redacted] said Mr. Benham then began threatening a different male passenger. [Redacted] said he warned Mr. Benham a second time to calm down because the police were going to arrest him.”
The report notes that Benham continued to struggle during the attempt to handcuff him and after the officer identified himself. Only after the second officer arrived were they able to handcuff him. So why no charge of resisting arrest? Hit the link for the full arrest report.