A homophobe who attacked a gay couple in Key West earlier this year offered to hug his victims in court after he was spared a jail sentence.
Brandon Ray Davis, 30, was taken into custody in March and charged with aggravated battery after he followed Kevin Seymour, 38, and Kevin Paul Taylor, 49, and called them “faggots and a slew of other anti-gay remarks.” The couple says he also yelled, “You live in Trump country now.”
As the drunken scooter rider continued to yell gay slurs and taunts, he struck the rear tire of Seymour’s bike, knocking him to the ground.
Taylor shared his account of the hate crime on his Facebook page:
Davis’ attorney presented the court with 30 sworn testimonies of the defendant’s character who said that his actions were “out of character”.
Davis was given four years probation, 75 hours of LGBT-related community service, banned from consuming alcohol for two years and ordered have a substance abuse evaluation.
During the trial, the defendant reportedly walked towards the two victims in court and offered them hugs.
“My heart goes out to you guys, every bit of it,” he told the couple.
“I’m asking you to come put your arms around me, take my hand,” Davis said.
The couple declined the offer, to which the defendant replied: “I’m asking for your forgiveness, more than anybody.”
The Key West Police Department noted at the time:
Davis then allegedly charged Seymour with the scooter, hitting his bike. When Seymour threatened to call police, Davis allegedly told him “If you do that, I’ll cut you up.”
The victims were able to make note of the scooter license before he fled the scene.
Police were able to identify Davis, in part, through the scooter rental agency, where Davis had left a copy of his driver’s license in order to rent the vehicle. Working with North Carolina law enforcement, detectives were able obtain a photo of Davis. In a photo lineup, both the victims and another witness positively identified Davis.
Detectives obtained the extraditable warrant for a felony charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. In addition, the charge is enhanced due to the fact that Davis attacked the Key West men based upon their sexual orientation.
According to the warrant, “Probable cause exists to believe there was evidence of prejudice in Davis’s attack of Seymour…” as Davis “used explicit bias language in reference to their sexual orientation. Davis then attacked Seymour without any provocation.”