First let me explain.
I dont believe there is such a thing as hate crime. I also dont think its alright to beat up gay people or anyone else for no reason. The men charged in this incident, if guilty, deserve to pay for what they did and I see nothing funny with what happened.
However, I laughed out loud when I read this one particular line in the story.
TARPON SPRINGS - Police on Tuesday charged a third Tarpon Springs man with a hate crime in which officers say he and two friends beat a gay couple bloody in the heart of the city's tourist district over the weekend.
Police say Michael Kitsos, 21, was one of three men who kicked and punched Peter Malamoutsis, his partner, R. Gregory Hall, and three others early Saturday morning.
The trouble started about 11 p.m. Friday at Zorba's Restaurant and Lounge at 508 Athens St., police said. Malamoutsis, who lives with Hall, 31, in Bartow, wanted to show his partner of three years a little Greek culture. But a few hours after their arrival at the bar, things took an unexpectedly violent turn.
"We thought we were going to have fun in Greektown," Malamoutsis said. "Greg had never been there and I wanted to show him what it was like."
Instead, Malamoutsis, 22, ended up in a bloody heap on the pavement in front of the restaurant as Kitsos and his friends, John A. Himonetos, 21, and Stamatios N. Kannis, 22, shouted insults and kicked him in the head early Saturday, police said.
Hours earlier, Malamoutsis had approached Himonetos after recognizing him as former customer at a restaurant where he once worked. The two chatted amiably until Malamoutsis told Himonetos he is now a bartender at the Castle, an Ybor City club. When Himonetos made a disparaging remark about the club being gay, Malamoutsis said he was gay and the conversation ended.
"I thought that was that," Malamoutsis said.
Police say Himonetos, Kitsos and Kannis were outside the restaurant when Malamoutsis, Hall and friend Andrew Skiadas, 45, left after last call about 2 a.m. That was when Himonetos punched Skiadas in the throat, police said. When Malamoutsis tried to stop him, Himonetos called him a derogatory name and punched him next. The confrontation erupted into a brawl that sent five people to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries and resulted in Kannis and Himonetos' arrests Saturday.
On Monday, police said they were seeking to charge a third man with a hate crime after the incident.
Kitsos turned himself in to police about 1 p.m. Tuesday, police said. He was charged with three counts of battery and two counts of aggravated battery. Each charge was designated as a hate crime, which enhances the potential sentence.
A Tarpon Springs resident, Kitsos is no stranger to Athens Street. His family owns and operates Costa's Restaurant, a Greek establishment almost directly across the street from where Saturday's events took place.
edited to add:
Skydiving: The only sport where femur is a verb.