A southeast Missouri man is being accused of assault motivated by discrimination, a hate crime, from an incident at a Lake of the Ozarks bar over the weekend.
According to a press release from the Camden County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to the business at 132 Sweet William Road, Lake Ozark around 12:15 a.m. Saturday, August 4, in reference to an assault.
Allen M. Loftis of Ellsinore, Missouri was arrested after an investigation at the scene. The 22-year-old was later charged with three counts of felony assault motivated by discrimination and one count of misdemeanor peace disturbance.
According to a separate press release from the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, it is alleged that Loftis punched three people because Loftis believed the victims were homosexual. At least one person was injured as a result of the incident, the press release states.
The probable cause statement filed by the investigating officer indicates one of the alleged victim’s suffered a chipped tooth and a swollen lip during an incident inside Shady Gators.
After Loftis was removed from the bar, the incident to the police. Outside the bar, Loftis allegedly punched a second man in the throat and face and pulled a wig off of a third man. Lofts reportedly called this man a f@# and then gay.
The three male victims were all at the bar together with one of them dressed in a see-through half-shirt, leopard print pants and a wig. This victim reported to the investigator that he believed the assault occurred because of the way he was dressed, reporting the name-calling and scuffle in which his friends were injured.
According to the probable cause statement, this man reported fighting with Loftis in the bar after Loftis reportedly pulled the wig off his head. The man reportedly knocked Loftis’ hat off his head in return and in the ensuing scuffle, one of the victim’s friends tried to get in the middle and break it up, receiving the chipped tooth.
After Loftis and three of his own friends went outside, the three other men followed. Allen reportedly attempted to leave in a taxi or Uber, with one of the victims asking where he was going because he had called the cops. Loftis’ friends claimed that the other man pulled Allen from the cab, but a nearby security guard only reported the questioning to police. It was at this point though that Allen turned to the second man and punched him in the face before the security guard intervened.
During a Miranda-waived interview at the Camden County Detention Center, Allen told the deputy he had observed two guys dancing on each other and he pulled the wig off of the one man. They then pulled his hat off and he went back to “settle up” and admitted to striking one of them. He also stated that when he was attempting to get into an Uber, some guy came up behind him and told him he wasn’t going anywhere. Loftis admitted that he then struck that man.
Loftis also allegedly stated he “does not let gay stuff go on.”
The deputy also reported that Allen showed no remorse but instead attempted to justify his actions.
With the motivation based in discrimination, the charge is a Class E felony with punishment of up to four years in prison if convicted. This alleged crime would otherwise be considered third degree assault, a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail.
Loftis has already posted a $75,000 surety bond.
In her office’s press release, Prosecutor Heather Miller commented, “My office continues to work with law enforcement, local businesses, and all citizens to make sure that the Lake is a place we are proud to call home. It is vital to our success as a community that we are able to go about our lives without fear of assault or of harassment. The Office of the Prosecuting Attorney remains committed to the safety of those that live in Camden County and those who visit our beautiful lake.”