CAMDEN COUNTY, Mo. — Authorities say a man who allegedly punched multiple people at Shady Gators bar on Lake of the Ozarks is facing felony hate-crime charges, after referencing "gay stuff" as the motivation for the alleged assault.
Charges have been filed in Camden County against Allen Loftis, the first charges based upon a specific hate crime statute ever filed in the county, according to Prosecutor Heather Miller.
According to allegations, Loftis assaulted three different people in the early morning hours of Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018 at Shady Gators. Security personnel on duty at the time reported that Loftis initiated the altercation with three different patrons who were dancing together. Interviewed afterward at the Camden County Detention Center, authorities say Loftis explained that he “did not let gay stuff” go on around him.
These words along with the defendant’s actions provided motive leading to four counts filed in Camden County. Specific statutes used in charges against Loftis include the concept of a Hate Crime because the defendant’s apparent motivation for the felony offenses was the sexual orientation of the victims. Such motivation enhances the severity of the crime and increases the proscribed penalties of such crimes if found guilty of the offense.
While the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney cannot comment on an open case, Miller stated, “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.”
Specific charges against Loftis include:
Count I, Assault in the Third Degree – Hate Crime, a Class D Felony, in that the defendant allegedly caused physical injury by punching victim #1 and was knowingly motivated to do so by reason of the victim’s sexual orientation.
Count II, Assault in the Fourth Degree – Hate Crime, a Class E Felony, was filed because the defendant allegedly attempted to cause physical pain by punching victim #2 and said he was motivated to do so by reason of the victim’s sexual orientation.
Count III, Assault – Hate Crime, a Class E Felony, was filed after the defendant allegedly pulled the wig off victim #3 and was motivated to do so by the victim’s sexual orientation.
Count IV, Disturbing The Peace, a Class B Misdemeanor, resulted from allegedly disturbing the peace in unreasonably and knowingly causing alarm in the security guard by fighting.
Loftis’ first appearance in court is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018 at which time a bond amount will be determined and counsel will be provided for the defendant unless he has his own.