Planet Out News

Police arrest 3 in West Hollywood attacks
      Christopher Lisotta, / Network
      Wednesday, October 2, 2002 / 04:09 PM

SUMMARY: Authorities in West Hollywood, Calif., have taken into custody three men wanted in the brutal attack on actor Trev Broudy.

Authorities in West Hollywood, Calif., said Tuesday night they had taken into custody three men wanted in connection with the brutal attack on actor Trev Broudy and possibly two other anti-gay attacks last month.

Acting on an anonymous tip, sheriff's deputies brought in two of the men, Larry Walker, age 29, and Vincent Dotsun, age 18, on charges for assault with a deadly weapon, attempted robbery and the commission of a hate crime. They are both awaiting arraignment and are being held on $130,000 bail.

Sheriff's deputies would not say if the weapons used in the attack had been recovered. The third suspect in the assault is in custody but was not charged as of early Wednesday afternoon.

The third suspect, who has yet to be named, was arrested just hours after the Sept. 1 attack by Los Angeles police on unrelated charges of suspicion of robbery and vehicle theft. The stolen car, a red four-door Toyota, fits the description of the getaway vehicle used by Broudy's attackers, and has numbers on its license plate that partially match the numbers given by a witness who saw the car drive away.

Detectives are still investigating whether or not these same three suspects are also involved in the other two recent attacks on gay men in West Hollywood -- one occurring the same night as the attack on Broudy, and another attack on Sept. 22 involving a 55-year-old man just blocks from Broudy's residence.

At about 11:45 p.m. on Sept. 1, Broudy was hugging a friend goodbye outside his West Hollywood apartment. Two men wielding a metal pipe and a baseball bat suddenly appeared and attacked both men. Broudy, who suffered severe injuries to his head, was in a medically induced coma for days after the attack. Broudy's friend was also injured in the attack, but did not require hospitalization.

Although he has regained consciousness and is talking, a Sheriff's Department spokesman said Broudy is expected to have a long rehabilitation and is not getting out of the hospital anytime soon.

"We are so incredibly relieved there may be some justice for Trev," Dave Walsh, a friend of Broudy's, told the Network. "The whole community has been in a state of fear. We have the ability to take our own community back."

The Los Angeles County District Attorney is expected to file charges against the suspects in front of a Beverly Hills judge on Thursday morning. A representative from the D.A.'s office declined on Tuesday to state exactly what charges would be filed, but most people close to the case expect the hate crime charges to stick, despite the fact that Broudy's assailants allegedly did not use any epithets during the attack.

"I can't think of a more obvious hate crime," said California state Assemblyman Paul Koretz, who is also a former mayor of West Hollywood. "If this isn't a hate crime, I don't know what is."

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