WINDY CITY TIMES
||Man indicted for attacking men in D.C. for their sexual orientation
This article shared 1297 times since Fri Jul 15, 2022
A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Michael Thomas Pruden, 48, with five counts of assault on federal land, one count of impersonating a federal officer and a hate-crimes sentencing enhancement alleging that Pruden assaulted four of the victims because of their perceived sexual orientation, according to a Department of Justice press release.
The indictment alleges that on five separate dates from 2018 to 2021, Pruden went after dark to Meridian Hill Park, aka Malcolm X Park, which is informally known in the Washington, D.C. community as a meeting place for men seeking consensual sex with other men, and assaulted five men with a chemical irritant.
Before spraying the men, Pruden pretended to be a Park Police officer, shined a flashlight in the victims' faces and gave the victims police-style directives. The indictment alleges that Pruden assaulted four of the victims because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation.
Pruden was arrested July 14 in Norfolk, Virginia. Pruden faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years for each assault count and a three-year statutory maximum sentence for impersonating a federal officer. The hate crimes sentencing enhancement increases the range of the potential sentence for the assault counts.
Pruden was arrested last year in connection with a similar attack at a federal park in Alexandria, Virginia, in March 2021, according to ABC News.
This article shared 1297 times since Fri Jul 15, 2022
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