14th assault reported in Oak Lawn

Investigators don't think the assaults targeting gay men are being committed by the same suspects.

DALLAS — Dallas police announced Tuesday they are investigating what would be the 14th attack in and around the Oak Lawn neighborhood since the beginning of September.

Victims, who have been beaten and robbed, have mostly been gay men.

Lee Daugherty, who owns the Oak Lawn bar Alexandre's, helped organize a rally last month to bring attention to the problem. "This has hit close to home," he said. "My family… my staff… has been attacked here."

Daugherty enhanced security at his establishment and now uses Uber to get his employees to and from work to prevent them from walking. He was relieved to learn over the weekend that Dallas police are devoting more resources to solve the cases.

"Saturday I was cautiously optimistic that the new investigators were being added, and now I am just beyond frustrated," he said. "We have another attack."

Police revealed Tuesday that the 14th attack happened around 10:30 Saturday night not far from Alexandre's, in the back parking lot of the Round-Up Saloon. Dallas police Assistant Chief Randall Blankenbaker said two white men around six feet tall "Knocked the victim to the ground, kicked him, and stole property from him."

Blankenbaker said the 54-year-old man who was ambushed was also insulted. "During this altercation, at least one of the suspects used offensive language in reference to the victim's perceived sexual orientation," the police spokesman said.

Detectives are investigating this as a "bias crime." But as they work to solve all 14 cases, they've concluded that while the same population and the same area are being targeted, that's about where the similarities end.

"The offenses were committed by one black male, by two black males, by three black males, by three Latin males, by two white males, by unknown description males, by a black male and Latin female," Blankenbaker said.

Worse yet, attack No. 14 happened after the city installed several new surveillance cameras, stepped up patrols, and added plainclothes officers.

"[It's] disheartening to see these are continuing, even though we have made tons of progress in a very short time period," Daugherty said.


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