Key West police have obtained an arrest warrant for a North Carolina man suspected of a hate crime on Duval Street, police said.
Richlands, N.C., resident Brandon Ray Davis, 30, is wanted for felony aggravated battery with a deadly weapon — his scooter — for nearly running down two men on bicycles while deluging them with gay-bashing comments. Since it’s classified as a hate crime, if Davis is convicted, he could face enhanced penalties.
Kevin Seymour and Kevin Price told police that about 1 a.m. on Feb. 23, they were riding bicycles in the 700 block of Duval when they saw a man swerving on a rented scooter. Seymour says he shouted to warn the scooter rider, identified by police as Davis, that he almost hit a car. Davis yelled, “You guys are a couple of fags,” “I bet you faggots voted for that bitch Hillary” and “You live in Trump country now,” police say.
When Seymour threatened to call police, Davis allegedly told him, “If you do that, I’ll cut you up.”
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At one point, the scooter rider struck the rear tire of Seymour’s bike, knocking him to the ground. Seymour and Price got the scooter tag number before he fled. The scooter was rented from A and M Rentals. It was found parked near the Southernmost Point.
Police on Tuesday night said they identified Davis in part through the scooter rental agency, where Davis left a copy of his driver’s license so he could rent it. Working with North Carolina law enforcement, detectives obtained a photo of Davis. In a photo lineup, Seymour, Price and another witness said it was Davis in the photo, police said.
According to the warrant, police say, “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.”
Monroe County Judge Wayne Miller signed the warrant. Police spokeswoman Alyson Crean said it lists Kevin Seymour and Kevin Price, though initial reports had the second Kevin as Kevin Taylor.
Larry Kahn: 305-440-3218