A First Sergeant in Fort Bliss believes he was the victim of a hate crime after he was assaulted for using a racial slur that nobody should really use under any circumstance.
The Texas-based Army First Sergeant William Davis II was reportedly assaulted by a group of men after a night out at an El Paso bar the night before New Year’s Eve, with the 19-year veteran of the Army claiming he was attacked for being gay.
After the bar closed, Davis was waiting for an Uber with his friend Julio when he was approached by four men.
“We went a little further down the street to catch the Uber and these guys were following and heckling – pretty much just trying to start a fight,” he said. “They kind of called me a faggot and, you know, cursed me out.”
The four men then got into a car and drove away. Davis claims he was then approached by two other men, who, like Davis, were African-American.
“… They started asking me – inquiring about what happened as if they were concerned or whatnot,” he said.
While explaining that he was trying to get home, Davis -a US Army First Sergeant who is held to a higher standard than your average individual- made the critical mistake of using the “N-word” when speaking to the two men.
“My mistake was to use the N-word, but you know, it’s colloquial language, so the guy I was talking to was black,” he said. “I’m black and I’ve never had a problem with another black guy getting upset in a very unprofessional environment.”
Not pleased with being called such a slur, the man hit him, knocking him to the ground and prompting his assailant’s friend to join in.
“I went down and then his buddy jumped on me, both of them just started jumping me,” he told KFOX.
Not long after his ass-kicking began, the four men who had previously driven off came back, joining in on the beating.
“Then the car that was up the street two blocks – they came back and those four guys jumped out of the vehicle and just started jumping me and Julio,” he said.
At one point, one of the men pulled something out that Davis -a senior NCO- thought was a weapon, causing Davis to plead for his life.
Fortunately, a woman who was passing by the scene stopped the fight by confronting the men, whom Davis believes were servicemembers.
“All of a sudden, this female comes out of nowhere and she asked those guys what they’re doing and they jumped back into their vehicle – all of them, like all six of them and then drove off,” he said.
Davis and Julio were injured in the encounter, with the latter spending several days in the Intensive Care Unit.
“My nose was beat up pretty bad, my ear was messed up, my left ear, the back of my head was bleeding, my lip was busted, I have a chipped tooth,” Davis said. “I had bruises on my arms either from when I was blocking them or maybe they were holding me down.”
While Davis believes it was a hate crime, El Paso Police did not label it as such. EPPD could not comment on the incident, as there is still an ongoing investigation.
Furthermore, soldiers -really, everyone- should exercise caution and be vigilant when off-duty, particularly during the late night/early morning hours and in areas (such as around bars or military bases) where criminal victimization may take place.
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