Missouri’s Ameristar Casino Site of Possible Anti-Gay Hate Crime

Posted on: March 2, 2021, 01:08h. 

Last updated on: March 2, 2021, 12:39h.

Missouri authorities are investigating a possible hate crime after two men suffered serious injuries in an attack this past weekend outside of the Ameristar Casino Resort Spa St. Charles.

Two men suffered serious injuries in the attack
A St. Charles, Mo. police SUV shown here. The police department is reviewing evidence of whether a violent altercation at the Ameristar Casino was a hate crime. (Image: KOAA)

Both men were treated for injuries at local hospitals from alleged punches and kicks. They will require continuing medical treatment, KTVI, a local TV station, reported.

The assailants allegedly made anti-gay slurs before attacking the two men, according to one of the victims. But the attackers continued to beat up the men despite their pleas to stop the violence.

One man suffered a fractured nose and eye-socket. The injuries will require surgery. The other man was attacked and became unconscious, KTVI reported.

The two men had been inside the casino early Saturday. They were accompanied by friends and relatives.

One of them had too much to drink, the report said. So, the second man was assisting him to their car in the casino’s parking garage. That is when the violence erupted. A third man who was with a group heading into the casino allegedly taunted the two men. He made a motion like he was going to punch them, reports said.

A punch was thrown, and two or more people in the group allegedly started beating the two men.

“As I’m crawling over to him, I’m begging them, ‘Please stop. Please stop. We’re done.’ Then they hit me in the stomach, I say, ‘please, we’re done, we’re done.’ They say, ‘(profanity) right, you’re (profanity) done,’” KTVI reported the man’s allegations.

Hate Crime Allegation in Question

St. Charles police and a local prosecutor’s office were continuing to investigate the crime early this week. Police have yet to classify it as a hate crime.

There’s a dispute as to what type of language was used back and forth,” St. Charles Police Lt. Tom Wilkison told KTVI. “At this time, we don’t have anything to support that the two people got beaten up or targeted because of their sexual orientation.”

If any of the assailants are convicted of a hate crime, the number of years in prison would increase from a possible four years to seven years based on Missouri law, the report said.

It appears the incident was captured on video surveillance cameras at the casino. But KSDK, another local TV station, said the tape does not include any audio of the statements made during the altercation.

Victim Asks: How Do We Feel Safe Now

“How do we go anywhere and feel safe if we get attacked there, especially someplace like Ameristar, who should have top-notch security. If it happens there, it could happen anywhere,” the victim told KTVI.

In response to the incident, Ameristar released a statement to local media that they have a zero-tolerance policy for those who commit acts of violence or intolerance.

Drug Charge at Casino Last Summer

Also, the St. Charles casino was the site of Ledra A. Craig, 43, allegedly selling fentanyl. He was charged last August. The drugs may have led to another man’s death.