The El Paso Police Department has arrested a third man after the savage beating of a 22-year-old man outside a popular gay club, reports KVIA. The victim remains in a "medically-induced coma" with a "fractured skull and brain swelling" after the brutal May 7 attack by a baseball bat-wielding group of six men outside the Old Plantation.
Ivan Gallardo, 17, has been charged with Aggravated Assault and booked into the El Paso County Jail on a bond of $50,000.00.
Roman Olvera, 19, has been charged with aggravated assault and booked into the El Paso County Jail on a bond of $50,000. Police had previously detained a 16-year-old boy in the assault of 22-year-old Lionel Martinez outside of the Old Plantation (OP) nightclub. The unnamed juvenile was referred to the Juvenile Probation Department for the offense of aggravated assault. Martinez remains in critical condition.
The family says Martinez—who is not gay—visited the club with his sister and her friends. Witnesses say a verbal confrontation with six men outside "escalated to punching and kicking and one of the six men used a bat to hit" Martinez.
Police claim the assault was gang-related and say there is "no evidence" to label the attack a hate crime. Martinez¹s family and LGBT activists disagree. Martinez was targeted because he was outside a gay nightclub, activists say. "[The police] have not worked well with the gay community almost to the point that they're a very bigoted organization," said Daniel Rollings, chair of the El Paso chapter of PFLAG.
More arrests are expected. The FBI is investigating the incident as a civil rights violation.