A second arrest has been made in an attack on Palm Springs gay activist George Zander and his husband, Chris, that occurred in the city’s gay commercial district over Halloween weekend.
Christopher James Carr, 30, was arrested on Monday (30 November) in connection with what police believe was a hate crime against the Zanders because they are gay.
An arrest issue had been issued for Carr shortly after the arrest two weeks ago of fellow suspect Keith Terranova, according to The Desert Sun.
George Zander, 71, suffered a double hip fracture during the attack and required surgery. He well-known in the desert city as one of the founding members of the Desert Stonewall Democrats and currently sits on the Palm Springs Police Department Advisory Board.
He and Chris Zander, who was attacked with a tire iron, had just left a nightclub in the heart of the town’s gay business district when they were attacked on 1 November.
Police allege that Carr ‘intentionally’ bumped into Chris Zander, used a gay slur while telling him to get out of the way, then tackled him after the pair argued.
Carr allegedly returned a short time later and confronted the couple again – this time accompanied by Terranova.
Terranova has pleaded not guilty to felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon, hate crime and elder abuse. Carr has been arrested nine other times in the past 11 years and both men have been convicted of battery.
Meanwhile, George Zander continues to recover from his injuries.
Chris Zander posted on Facebook that George his husband is out of the recovery home he had been in post-surgery and enjoyed Thanksgiving at home: ‘He will be walking the streets of Palm Springs again soon lol. He has his claws out so beware!!!!!!!!!’
The couple has been overwhelmed by the support they have received from the community which held benefits to raise reward money and the local police which Chris Zander writes has had ‘passion to solve this.’
‘We have shed more tears of joy then of pain and it is because of your love,’ he wrote. ‘The response from our friends, family, and the community is mind blowing and extremely powerful. It amazes us how much effort and time this community has put in to support us.’