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William Zesbaugh, Washington Man, Beats Woman With Steering Wheel Club In Alleged Anti-Gay Attack

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An elderly Washington state resident has been slapped with anti-gay hate crime allegations after what started off as a simple fender-bender spiraled into something considerably uglier.

KSDK reports that LuAnn Branch and Kelli Nichols of Vashon Island say they were driving to a medical appointment Jan. 28 when they say the suspect, who is identified as William Zesbaugh, rear-ended their car.

The alleged victims said that Zesbaugh, 71, emerged from his car with a Club steering wheel lock and began beating Branch with it, yelling, "I can tell you're lesbians. I should beat the crap out of you!"

Seattle Weekly also noted that as Zesbaugh was being apprehended by police at the scene, he added: "I should have hit her lot harder if I'm going to get in trouble for it."

Although Nichols is openly gay, Branch -- who was treated for a deep gash several inches long to her forearm, according to Seattle Weekly -- reportedly identified herself as being straight and married.

King 5 reports that Zesbaugh has been charged with assault and malicious harassment, a hate crime.

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