Fort Bliss soldier believes he is a victim of a hate crime
EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14) —
A Fort Bliss soldier believes he is a victim of a hate crime.
1st Sgt. Charles William Davis II celebrated 19 years of service in the U.S. Army on Wednesday.
He said his love for the Army isn’t tarnished even though he said he believes he was attacked by fellow soldiers for being gay.
"I've been to Bosnia, I've been to Iraq and I've been to Afghanistan three times,” he said.
Davis is stationed at Fort Bliss.
"The support that I got from my chain of command was just phenomenal and I couldn't ask for anything more,” he said.
He told KFOX14 that he and a friend, Julio, went to a bar on Cincinnati Street in West El Paso the night before New Year’s Eve.
But, when the bar closed and they waited for their Uber ride on the corner of Baltimore Avenue and Stanton Street, four men approached them.
"We went a little further down the street to catch the Uber and these guys were following and heckling - pretty much just trying to start a fight,” he said. "They kind of called me a faggot and, you know, cursed me out."
Davis said the men got in a maroon car and drove a few blocks away.
He said that’s when two more men approached him.
"... They started asking me - inquiring about what happened, as if they were concerned or whatnot,” he said.
Davis said he told them he was trying to get home but admits he used language that may be offensive.
"My mistake was to use the N-word, but you know, it's colloquial language, so the guy I was talking to was black,” he said. “I'm black and I've never had a problem with another black guy getting upset in a very unprofessional environment."
Davis said one of the men hit him.
"I went down and then his buddy jumped on me, both of them just started jumping me,” he said.
Moments later, the other four men came back.
"Then the car that was up the street two blocks - they came back and those four guys jumped out of the vehicle and just started jumping me and Julio,” he said.
He said one of the men pulled out what he believed to be a weapon.
"I don't know what it was, but all I know is I reverted to pleading to him not to kill us,” Davis said.
He said a woman passing by stopped the fight.
"All of a sudden, this female comes out of nowhere and she asked those guys what they're doing and they jumped back into their vehicle - all of them, like all six of them and then drove off,” he said.
He doesn’t know who they are, but he believes they’re service members.
"I will tell you though, I think they were military,” he said. ”Nothing against the military, but I just think they were members of the military, just by the way they handled themselves, the way they, like, were dressed."
Davis said Julio was in the intensive care unit for several days.
Davis said he sustained a few injuries himself.
"My nose was beat up pretty bad, my ear was messed up, my left ear, the back of my head was bleeding, my lip was busted, I have a chipped tooth,” he said. "I had bruises on my arms either from when I was blocking them or maybe they were holding me down."
Davis told police he thinks he was targeted.
But the report doesn’t indicate a hate crime.
The El Paso Police Department said they cannot comment on an on-going investigation.
Fort Bliss officials released this statement: “On 1 January 2018 a 1SG Charles Davis, (D Co, 16th EN BN, 1 ABCT, 1 AD) was assaulted in El Paso. The 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss is committed to working with civilian law enforcement to ensure that this assault perpetrated against one of our Soldiers is fully investigated and those responsible are brought to justice. As this recent assault occurred off-base the El Paso Police Department is lead in this investigation. Please contact the EPPD for details regarding this incident.”
Davis said he wants justice and for his voice to be heard.
"You always have a voice, don't allow anybody to stifle you,” he said.
He said the FBI is also looking into the incident.