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Seeking help Identifying Assailant

Original post made by Tom Cushing, Danville, on Nov 2, 2008

Hi folks:

Today, Sunday November 2, I was assaulted and battered-a-bit in the Marshall's parking lot, at about 1 PM. I believe it related to the anti-Prop 8 signage on my car, as he called me "a (adjective) pig" when we passed in our cars, without provocation from me. He then awaited me in the lot as I approached the store, called me several profane names, got more worked-up, blocked my way twice, spat in my face twice, threw ice from a cup, invited me repeatedly to fight him, knocked my camera from my hand, tried to trip me, and when I successfully retrieved the camera he took-off on foot over the berm, across Fostoria Way and through the Petco parking lot in a generally southbound direction.

The Danville police were called; I gave a statement, and agreed to prosecute. A drive-around apparently did not produce a suspect.

Anyway -- here's a description:

Muscular/stocky white male, age 45-55, 5'-10" or so, shaved head, rectangular rimless glasses. "Mr. Clean" without the earring or the smile. He was driving a gold-tan four-door sedan. I took the license numbers of several cars that might have been his. He was dressed in a brown, button-down shirt and brown pants, casual shoes. There was neither smoke, nor alcohol on his "breath." Limited vocabulary, and a whole lot of anger. ;-)

Any info, kindly give it the Danville PD 925-314-3700. The Report number is 08-24780.

And just generally, folks -- tempers are running very high over our election differences. Please think/plan in advance about how you would handle an incident like this, and commit to non-violence -- 'cuz it's hard to think clearly when someone spits in your face. Also, carrying a digital camera may have saved me a butt-whipping.

Thanks for any help you can give -- I believe this incident could've gone much worse, and that's unacceptable.

Regards, Tom Cushing

Comments (13)

Posted by Luis
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Nov 2, 2008 at 7:06 pm

This is outragous. Prop 8 supporters have neo-nazis as their friends, no wonder.

Posted by Jeff S.
a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2008 at 8:13 am


I am so sorry to hear of this incident. You have been a great supporter of the No on 8 cause, and I thank you for that.

I hope the assailant is found.

Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2008 at 8:54 am

Thanks, guys -- I think it was what the shrinks call an AFGO, another, uh, fine growth opportunity. Anyway, the guy shouldn't be hard to find -- pretty distinctive look -- any tips to the Danville PD might help their investigation.

I'm also guessing there'll a pattern of abusive conduct that accompanies him -- perhaps some formal legal process can raise the stakes of future repetitions.

And while we're at it: NO on 8!

Posted by David
a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2008 at 3:07 pm

Sorry to hear about that, Tom. There's no call for that...absolutely none. I hope they catch the guy.

Posted by Former Danville Resident
a resident of another community
on Nov 3, 2008 at 11:00 pm


This seemed like the most appropriate forum to address you personally outside of the other message boards. WHatever happens tomorrow, I just want to THANK You for everything you've done on the no on 8 campaign.

I grew up in Danville and all my life new I was some how different, but could never put my finger on it. It wasn't until my mid 20s, living in Los Angeles and meeting so many solid LGBT citizens did I have the courage to realize I was gay and come out. Moving forward I've been an activist, fundraiser and educator for the gay community. I'm blessed that living here in LA, I have so many wonderful gay friends, who just want equality like everyone else, and, for most part to only be exclusively exposed to the No on 8 campaign (i.e. very little if any pro 8 people here...)

Last week I came to this site to see what was up with the old hood if you will, and was shocked and dismayed by what I found. It turned out my instincts to stay in closet and have an agonizing youth over being gay were for most part well founded. I have been shocked at so many of the responses on the forums. HOwever you have done an AMAZING job of standing up for what is right, maintaining composure and only debating on facts.

On the good side it seems the residents of Danville are split evenly, although its hard to understand the 50% who insist this will be taught in schools and that by this failing the homomsexual agenda will be forced on our children. As a product of the San Ramon Valley Unified School district, this was never further from the truth. The schools here did an outstanding job never teaching marriage, but just the raw engineering of human reproduction and the risk of STDs. ANd, of course year in and year out I brought home a permission slip so my parents could opt me out if they so chose.

As we stand here on the eve of this most historic election, I just want to thank you again for EVERYTHING. I'm sorry what happened to you in the parking lot. BUt it warms my heart to know there is someone like you living in Danville. And to all the San Ramon Valley residents who plan on a no vote, thank you. You know, and understand, this isnt about our kids, and what sexual orientation your kids grow up as is not by choice, and who they are as people comes from what kind of parents you are, not what happens in the schools, the church and the community.

Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Nov 4, 2008 at 10:13 am

Dear "FDR:"

I wrote somewhere in all these pixels that, for all the concepts we debate, the thing that gets-me-where-I-live is people's stories. Thanks for sharing yours. As for me, I have seldom been so certain of anything as I am of the rightness of our common cause on this issue. That makes it very easy to write about.

Please vote NO on 8. We will save our Constitution -- and save ourselves.

Posted by Sandy Mc
a resident of Danville
on Nov 5, 2008 at 12:27 pm

I got flipped off driving down the freeway for my Obama / Biden bumper sticker! His bumper sticker said Obama Sucks.

Winning is victory enough for me!

Some people just aren't comfortable with equality - race, gender or sexual orientation and I am not comfortable with those people.

Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Nov 8, 2008 at 4:27 pm

He has been identified.

My thanks to all who assisted in this investigation!

(and stay tuned)

Posted by M.D.S.
a resident of Charlotte Wood Middle School
on Nov 14, 2008 at 10:51 am


Very good news that this man has been identified. I hope the police follow through with charges.

I was surprised by your story and even more surprised that Prop 8 passed. While it was defeated quite handily in the Bay Area by about 70%, it was passed in other counties- including LA! So it would appear that intolerance and hate can be found in both Southern and Northern CA. As a community and as parents, we still have work to do. For ourselves and our children.

Please keep us posted...

Posted by Landon
a resident of Danville
on Nov 19, 2008 at 2:56 pm

I'm so glad the election is over.

Posted by cardfark
a resident of Diablo
on Nov 19, 2008 at 4:29 pm

The election may be over, but the beat goes on.

Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Mar 25, 2009 at 7:53 am

Update: the defendant, also a Danville resident, has been charged with multiple counts of battery. A preliminary hearing scheduled for March 17 was continued to early May.

Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on May 13, 2009 at 4:00 pm

Foe anyone keeping score at home, the preliminary hearing in this case #1-140-637-0 has again been postponed -- this time until June 16th. I'm guessing the hope is I'll die, move away or forget.

Not likely.

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