HOA Members Accused of Brutalizing Gay Man

           RIVERSIDE, Calif. (CN) – Members of a homeowners association in pricey Rancho Mirage kicked and beat a man at a meeting, screaming “Kick the faggot!” while a security guard held at gunpoint anyone who tried to protect him, an outraged homeowner claims in court.
     Donald Searle sued The Springs Community Association, The Springs Homeowners Association, its Board of Directors, five members of the board, Universal Protection Service, a Universal security guard and four other members of the HOA, on Feb. 2 in Superior Court.
     Searle claims board members and others in the HOA set upon him and his husband like savages after Searle spoke at their annual meeting on Feb. 17, 2013. Searle, who was running for election to the board, says the defendants “began hurling insults” at him and his spouse, nonparty Thomas Moore.
     He claims that defendant board member Reesa Manning “approached Moore, said ‘fuck you,’ and struck him in the neck with her left fist and his collarbone with her right palm.”
     Then it was off to the races, Searle says in the 11-page lawsuit.
     Seven members of the HOA, including three members of the board, “began to violently batter Moore, all with plaintiff witnessing helplessly. Defendants and others continued the attack, while screaming out, ‘Bring the faggot down,’ ‘Kick the faggot,’ and ‘I kicked the faggot good,'” according to the complaint.
     Searle claims that “the individual defendants had previously planned” the attack, and that six of them, including three board members, each “punched, kicked, grabbed, restrained, pulled the hair of, scratched, pushed and kneed Moore.” He claims that defendant Richard Whittet “kicked Moore violently.”
     Meanwhile, a Universal Protection Service employee and HOA head of security David Archer “physically prevented individuals who were attempting to stop the battery from doing so,” Searle says.
     He claims that members of the board had told Archer to bring a gun to the meeting with the specific intent to intimidate him, and that “Archer, at the behest of the Springs board members, prevented individuals attempting to assist Moore from doing so, and did so at gunpoint.”
     He claims that Archer “aimed his gun at” people who tried to stop the beating.
     The beating came after Searle and Moore had been threatened with violence from defendant board member Basil Xipolitos, and homophobic slurs and hate letters had been delivered to their home by hand, according to the complaint.
     Moore seeks medical expenses, lost earnings, and punitive damages for civil rights violations and negligence. Searle seeks damages for loss of consortium.
     He is represented by Tracy Baer with Baer Treger, of Los Angeles.
     The top six listings for sale on the Springs Community Association home page Monday morning, all of them three-bedrooms, were listed for sale at $439,000 to $689,000, with an average price of $585,666.
     Springs Community Association general manager Kelly Roseman did not respond to a request for comment.
     (Editor’s Note: An early version of this story misidentified Archer as an employee of Universal Protection Service. “Archer is not an employee of Universal Protection Service,” company spokeswoman Angela Burrell said in a Feb. 12 email. “Instead, he was employed directly by the Springs Community Association at the time of the incident.” Courthouse News has corrected and apologizes for the error.)

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