Three violent gay bashers from the group of eight who assaulted and subsequently hospitalized a gay couple in an unprovoked attack in Center City on September 11 have turned themselves in to police this morning.
We reported yesterday that charges of aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, and criminal conspiracy were filed by the Philadelphia DA against 24-year-old Philip Williams, 26-year-old Kevin Harrigan, and 24-year-old Kathryn Knott, three of the eight assailants who instigated the attack.
An investigation into the incident took longer than expected — six full days after assailants were identified — and ended yesterday, effectively letting at least five violent homophobic assailants back onto the street without consequence for their involvement in the attack.
What took so long, you ask? 24-year-old Kathryn Knott is apparently the daughter of Chalfont, Pennsylvania Police Chief Karl Knott, and as we previously noted, charges and consequences for the crime would most likely depend on the assailants’ wealth status and relation to the police department.
It appears as though all the kids involved are well-connected on both fronts, and this assault could have likely gone totally unpunished if it weren’t for excellent detective work conducted by citizens on Twitter and heavy media attention.
On Monday, a police source told G Philly that they “didn’t have time” to investigate “simple” crimes like this.
Several witnesses and the victims confirmed they were assaulted by at least eight from an unruly, “visibly intoxicated” and “well dressed” group of 12, Knott’s attorney says she was not an aggressor.
“She in no way participated in the assault of anyone,” he said. “(And) she didn’t hurl an insult or a slur, of any kind.”
ABC 6 reporters spoke with the Knott family’s Southampton neighbors about the incident, who said they “weren’t surprised” by the charges against Knott.
NBC Philadelphia also confirmed this morning that many members of the violent gang are former students of Archbishop Wood High School, a Catholic institution. Last week, the school’s assistant basketball coach Fran McGlinn was fired after his involvement in the attack was learned.
Though the attack was most certainly based on the victims’ sexual orientation, hate crime charges cannot be filed because Pennsylvania law only recognizes hate crimes as “motivated by race, religion and ethnicity.”
Yesterday, lawmakers in favor of updating the state’s hate crime law to include sexual orientation held a rally at the capitol.
Don’t be surprised when all three of these kids get off scot-free or with light community service. This is America, after all, where we reserve things like liberty and justice for the ultra-rich whose daddies have badges.
Update: Twitter has confirmed this woman to be a spoiled brat, as well as a well-documented homophobe.