On March 17, a man — reportedly shouting homophobic and racist slurs — stabbed a Club Metropolis employee. The crime has sparked a community reaction, including plans for a benefit. The APD is not qualifying the incident as a hate crime, and the suspect was released March 21.
The Asheville Police Department has announced a second arrest in the July 14 assault on Luke Hankins. A group of people surrounded Hankins, shouting homophobic slurs before one, later identified by police as Lamon Hopkins, punched him in the face. The APD has arrested Hopkins, and today announced the arrest of a juvenile on assault charges.
The Asheville Police Department has arrested Lamon Lewis Hopkins, 25, and charged him in the July 14 assault on Luke Hankins. The APD has qualified the attack as a hate crime, with a group of people shouted homophobic slurs at Hankins before Hopkins punched him in the face hard enough to cause three fractures.
Early July 14, a group of teenagers, shouting homophobic slurs, surrounded Luke Hankins in the parking lot of the Patton Avenue Ingles; one hit him hard enough to cause three fractures. The Asheville Police Department is looking for the suspects. While the APD has reported the attack as a hate crime, attacks based on sexual orientation aren’t covered under North Carolina’s hate crimes law, so no additional penalties are possible.