At nearly 4 o’clock in the morning yesterday, Kieran Daly, who came out six months, ago was found by a police officer, motionless, in an intersection in Savannah. His friends were administering first aid at the scene, and it would later be learned Daly suffered bruising to the brain and suffered two seizures immediately after he was allegedly attacked by two men, who would later tell police they didn’t like it that Daly was winking at them. These two men are active duty Marines.
The police officer spotted Keil Joseph Cronauer, 22, and Christopher Charles Stanzel, 23 (pictured L-R), running away from what turned out to be a crime scene. And you can be certain they’re going to pull the “gay panic” defense.
Cronauer and Stanzel told police they were being harassed by a gay man and wanted to get away from him. But witnesses painted a different picture, according to the report. They told police one of the men grew angry because he thought Daly was winking at him and struck Daly in the back of the head with his fist, knocking him unconscious.
Saturday night, from his bed at Memorial University Medical Center, Daly insisted he tried to convince the Marines he was not winking at them. “The guy thought I was winking at him,” Daly said. “I told him, ‘I was squinting, man. … I’m tired.'” Daly said one of the men told him he demanded respect because he served in Iraq. And at least one hurled slurs at him as he tried to walk away. “That’s the last thing I remember is walking away,” Daly said.
After being booked on misdemeanor battery charges at the Chatham County jail, Cronauer and Stanzel were released into the custody of military police. Georgia does not have a hate crimes law — one of only five states in the U.S. lacking one.