A man accused of a homophobic hate crime in downtown Key West was arrested Wednesday morning in North Carolina and will be extradited to Monroe County for prosecution, authorities say.
The Key West Police Department said Brandon Ray Davis, 30, was taken into custody by the Onslow County (N.C.) Sheriff’s Office on an “extraditable warrant” for felony aggravated battery stemming from the Feb. 23 incident. Davis lives in Richlands, N.C.
He is accused of using a deadly weapon — his scooter — to nearly run down two men on bicycles while deluging them with homophobic comments. Since it’s classified as a hate crime, if Davis is convicted, he could face enhanced penalties.
Kevin Seymour and Kevin Price told police that about 1 a.m. on Feb. 23, they were riding bicycles in the 700 block of Duval when they saw a man swerving on a rented scooter. Seymour says he shouted to warn the scooter rider, identified by police as Davis, that he almost hit a car. Davis yelled, “You guys are a couple of fags,” “I bet you faggots voted for that bitch Hillary” and “You live in Trump country now,” police say.
When Seymour threatened to call police, Davis allegedly told him, “If you do that, I’ll cut you up.”
At one point, the scooter rider struck the rear tire of Seymour’s bike, knocking him to the ground. Seymour and Price got the scooter tag number before he fled. The scooter was rented from A and M Rentals. It was found parked near the Southernmost Point.
Police say they identified Davis in part through the scooter rental agency, where Davis left a copy of his driver’s license so he could rent it. Working with North Carolina law enforcement, detectives obtained a photo of Davis. In a photo lineup, Seymour, Price and another witness said it was Davis in the photo, police said.
According to the warrant, police say, “Probable cause exists to believe there was evidence of prejudice in Davis’ attack of Seymour…” as Davis “used explicit bias language in reference to their sexual orientation. Davis then attacked Seymour without any provocation.”