Beating, assault at Redding gay bar called hate crime

Beating, assault at Redding gay bar called hate crime

Club 501 has been called Redding’s only gay bar. Located in north Redding, not far from the famous Sundial Bridge, it is on the corner of California Street and Division. In a recent post on their Facebook page, celebrating their 20th anniversary, they describe the place: “For 20 years, Club 501 has served the gay community not only as an amazing place to have a stiff drink, converse with other great patrons/bartenders and dance your ass off; but as a safe haven for those who didn’t feel comfortable in other bars in the Redding area. Now, after 20 years of existence, the 501 is a place where many different types of people come; young and old, gay and straight, black or white. The amount of diversity you see in this Redding landmark is unlike anything you will experience in any other Redding bar.”

Club 501 in Redding

Club 501 in Redding

What Jarrett Case Westler, 24, and Michael James Brown, 23, both of Redding, were doing there last Sunday night is somewhat puzzling. They both appear to be straight, and their later actions demonstrated a decided lack of appreciation for diversity and alternative lifestyles. Perhaps it was the very diversity of the crowd that led them to believe it was just another party bar in town, or maybe they were intrigued by the people there and wanted to check it out. Or maybe they were just looking for trouble.

Whatever their motivation, according to the Redding police, they were there and drinking, and became intoxicated enough to be asked to leave. Apparently upset at the request, they began shouting insults at the staff and other patrons, using derogatory slurs towards their perceived sexual orientation. As they got outside, they continued to yell insults and began fighting with people there on the sidewalk.

Michael Brown was carrying brass knuckles, and put them on, hitting one man in the face, breaking his orbital eye bone, knocking out a tooth, and leaving multiple lacerations and abrasions. Jarrett Westler also was seen hitting the same victim, and then pulled out a knife and slashed at a woman, who was not hit.

Jarrett Case Westler - previous mugshots and Facebook image.

Jarrett Case Westler – previous mugshots and Facebook image.

Police were called at 10:21 pm, and officers were soon on the scene, but the two men had left, driving away in a red Ford F-150 pickup truck, as reported by witnesses. The wounded man was transported to Mercy Medical Center for treatment. His injuries were not life threatening, and he was released.

An investigation followed, and police detectives were able to identify Westler and Brown as the suspects, based on witness descriptions and the vehicle used.

Westler was known to Redding Police for his past brushes with the law; he was on active parole for past drug and weapon offenses. He haad been arrested in October 2011 when caught cultivating marijuana for sale while he was already in a post release work program, which he had failed to complete. At that time he was found with a stolen shotgun, and a large amount of cash. After his release, over the next two years, he was arrested several times on parole violations, being under the influence, driving on a suspended license, and even for huffing Toluene, a chemical solvent sometimes used as a narcotic inhalant.

Redding Police investigators were able to located Westler and Brown Wednesday morning at 5:00 am. They were both arrested and booked at the Shasta County jail on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, assault causing great bodily injury, and commission of a hate crime. Brown’s bail was set at $50,000, while Westler is being held without bail.

 

Beating, assault at Redding gay bar called hate crime was last modified: October 10th, 2014 by admin
Categories: Shasta