Slurred reach: LGBTQ man complains of his treatment following Midtown assault

Victim says he was called gay slurs and punched after stepping in to defend homeless man

Late on the night of September 26, Keith “K.C.” Kimber, 36, a Harvard undergrad and self-described prominent member of the Sacramento LGBTQ community, says he was assaulted outside R15 amid a slew of homophobic slurs.

But it’s what happened after that got him really upset.

As Kimber tells it, his assailant was ushered into the bar and out a back door with help from R15’s doorman. When police arrived, he says they declined to take a police report at the scene or review surveillance footage of the alleged attack.

R15’s management declined comment on the incident. A Sacramento Police Department spokeswoman confirmed the call and defended the officers’ actions as standard protocol.

“Basically, there’s not a lot legally that a police officer can do,” said Officer Traci Trapani. “We respond to a lot of these. When these calls come in we just have to kind of triage it. When a suspect is not on scene anymore, those officers have to make themselves available for a higher priority call. That is our standard procedure. It really falls on the victim to follow up with court procedures.”

Kimber suspected different reasons for his treatment.

“This is something that’s not new in terms of cops ignoring the plight of gay or bisexual people,” Kimber said. “I think that we’re not safe; it makes me think that they simply don’t care. It really makes me think that calling the police is worthless.”

As he and two friends were about to enter R15 to play pool that Monday night, Kimber says he witnessed a man taunting a homeless man with a dollar bill. Kimber, having been homeless once himself, says he was angered and called the man out. That’s when Kimber says the man taunted him with homophobic slurs, then punched him in the head until his friend separated them.

Kimber says he called 911 after staff asked him to leave. A police report submitted by Mercy San Juan Medical Center, which Kimber visited for x-rays the following day, confirmed bruises sustained to the side of Kimber’s head as a result of being “punched in the left side of the head by another patron at (the) bar after a verbal altercation.”

Kimber wrote about his encounter on his Facebook wall, and also contacted Councilman Steve Hansen, who represents the downtown area. Hansen replied to Kimber’s email by saying he copied it to a police lieutenant and captain for follow-up. Kimber says he is also considering his legal options.