Is it a case of ‘gay bashing’ or just a fight?
That’s what a jury is being asked to consider in the case of an alleged hate crime.
Gregory Duncan is accused of the crime for hitting Ryan Langenegger in the Old Market on October 28th of 2013.
Duncan’s attorney, James Martin Davis, said Josh Foo, a friend of Langenegger’s is turning the incident into a gay bashing attack when Davis said it’s actually a case of 3rd degree assault.
“You’re turning this into a ‘cause celebre’ to the gay community,” Davis said. He also noted police did not take pictures of Langenegger’s injuries after Duncan hit him and Langenegger, who is heterosexual, refused medical attention.
With Foo on the stand, Davis said Foo misrepresented what happened inside a Pepperjax grill just before closing time at 3am.
Foo claimed Duncan and two friends were intimidating and making gay slurs towards Langenegger, Foo and Josh Gellinger, who was dressed as a woman, inside the restaurant.
Video shown the jury in court does not visually support Foo’s claims of harassment.
“I wish it had audio,” Foo said.
Davis says there is no way the Duncan party could have known Foo and Gellinger were openly gay due to the way they were dressed and that Gellinger had his back to the Duncan table while in the restaurant.
Foo claimed he was “afraid something bad would happen” and his party left the establishment because they were afraid.
Davis claimed the group left because the restaurant was closing. Foo said they stopped outside the restaurant and he was putting high heeled shoes on Gellinger while he smoked a cigarette. Davis noted Foo was on his knees and Gellinger, wearing a tight dress, had his legs up.
Foo claimed the Duncan group made several gay slurs aimed at his group outside the restaurant.
Davis reiterated there was no way the men could see any member of the Foo party was gay on appearance alone.
During an ensuing altercation, Duncan allegedly hit Langenegger.
After talking with police, Foo said he took Gellinger home and he took Langenegger to Foo’s apartment.
Foo, an admitted freelance photographer and videographer, then took pictures of Langenegger’s injuries.
He then posted them on Facebook and his group did interviews with local media in the following days concerning the incident.
Davis said Foo posted the pictures to create a false sense of what really happened.
“You had a cause,” Davis said. “This is an important case for gay rights.”
Davis said this is not a case of gay bashing because Langenegger is not gay and Foo and Gellinger admittedly are.
“You were not hit…”” Davis said to Foo. “(Gellinger) was not hit…Ryan the Marine was hit.”
“Yes,” Foo replied.
Joey Adriano, who was with Duncan that night, took the stand in the afternoon.
He admitted he drinks a lot and sometimes blacks out.
Adriano said that was the case on that October night.
When asked if he's anti-gay, Adriano replied, "No, I have a lot of friends and two aunts that are gay."
Adriano insisted several times he doesn't remember anything that occurred night, or even going into Pepperjax.
"You kind of lit the spark to a fire," Davis said to Adriano. "You are a big part of this trial. Are you saying you don't remember because you don't want to get involved or you really don't remember."
Adriano repeated that he didn't remember anything from that night.
"It was kind of hazy that night," Adriano said.