Sign up for our free newsletter
Last week, 27-year-old Christopher McDonald was sentenced to 120 days in jail for his “unprovoked assault on a group of gay women” in Adams Morgan last year. McDonald approached the women while they ate pizza on the 18th street sidewalk. Then, he made derogatory remarks about their sexual orientation and then threatened them with a knife. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, here’s an account of the incident:
According to the proffer of facts to which McDonald admitted, on September 7, 2009, McDonald approached a group of women who were eating pizza along the sidewalk of 18th Street in Adams Morgan. He confronted the women about their sexual orientation and made derogatory, profanity-laced remarks about their appearance and sexual orientation. With no provocation, McDonald, who was born in Jamaica, pulled out a knife and began advancing toward one of the women, saying that “if we were in Jamaica I’d shoot you in the face for being gay.” The stunned victims, fearing for their lives, called the police, and McDonald was stopped while attempting to flee. He admitted that he made the threats and brandished the knife based upon his prejudice against the victims’ actual sexual orientation, or what he perceived it to be.
McDonald was convicted of Bias-Related Threats To Do Bodily Harm and Simple Assault. In D.C., the maximum penalty for bias-related crimes is one-and-a-half times that of crimes that aren’t bias-related. After serving his 120 days, McDonald will be on probation for two years, during which he “must complete fifty (50) hours of community service, seek substance abuse treatment, and complete courses in anger management and sensitivity to issues of sexual orientation.” [Thanks to Holla Back DC for the tip].
Photo viakrossbow, Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0