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Two Marines have been arrested for allegedly beating a gay man in Savannah, Georgia.
Keil Cronauer and Christopher Stanzel are accused of attacking Kieran Daly so badly that he suffered bruises on his brain, reports the Savannah Morning News. In addition to the bruises, Daly suffered two seizures immediately after the attack. His friends performed CPR.
The Marines were caught running from the scene in Savannah's Johnson Square early Saturday morning.
While Cronauer and Stanzel told police that Daly was harrassing them, Daly explained that the two were mad because they thought that he had winked at one of them. The Morning News reports:
"The guy thought I was winking at him," Daly said. "I told him, 'I was squinting, man. ... I'm tired.'"
Daly said one of the men told him he demanded respect because he served in Iraq. And at least one hurled slurs at him as he tried to walk away.
"That's the last thing I remember is walking away," Daly said.
The FBI is investigating the incident to determine whether federal hate crime laws were broken, reports Savannah NBC affiliate WSAV.
Georgia is one of just five states that does not have legislation requiring stiffer penalties for hate crimes. Others include Indiana, Wyoming, South Carolina, and Arkansas.
The station reports that Cronauer and Stanzel are based at the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, S.C. and are currently restricted to the base.
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