Leon “Dane” Hall, who claimed in 2011 that he was “curb-checked” during a hate crime assault, was arrested Tuesday night after a fight with a Salt Lake City police officer. According to police, Hall hit the officer with a metal and glass decoration, severing part of the officer’s ear.
Police were called to the Pauline Apartments in the area of First South and Third East to investigate a suspicious person who was knocking on doors around midnight. When an officer approached Hall, he refused to talk nor would he identify himself. There was a struggle and police say Hall pulled an 18-inch cast iron lawn ornament from his bag and struck the officer in the head, severely cutting the officer’s ear lobe.
Hall’s mother, Fran Baca, disputes the department’s claim that Hall had such a large item on him. She says that Leon was in the neighborhood trying to give a stained glass ornament (pictured left) to a family friend.
Both the officer and Hall were taken to the hospital by ambulance. The officer’s ear was re-attached by medical personnel and police say he will make a full recovery. Hall was treated at the hospital and booked into Salt Lake County Jail. He faces charges of criminal mischief, interfering with an officer and assault on an officer.
A video posted on Facebook (below) shows at least one officer repeatedly hitting and using a taser on Hall, who pleads for them to stop.
In Aug. 2011, Hall said he was attacked outside Club Sound as his assailants yelled anti-gay slurs. He said his head was held to the ground and he was stomped on, breaking his jaw and loosening several teeth. No one was ever arrested in the assault, and many speculate the attack was drug-related rather than being a hate crime.
Hall’s brother, Eli Hall, says that Leon has not been the same since his 2011 assault. Eli posted on Facebook, saying that what Leon did was wrong, but that jail is not where his brother belongs:
“Whatever happened is not as important as the fact that Leon has never been even remotely the same after being severely gay bashed a few years back. For those of you who personally know him, I’m sure you’re aware that he has serious brain damage after that brutal beating and has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He needs mental help, not jail time,” wrote Eli. “PLEASE, if you can spare 5 minutes of your day, call the Salt Lake City Police Department and let them know this. He is not in the right state of mind and should be treated as such.”