2nd suspect in Atlanta gay beating in custody

Posted by GC on February 17, 2012
Update regarding suspects in gay beating in Atlanta

By Marcus K. Garner

A second man connected to the videotaped beating of a gay 20-year-old Atlanta man is in police custody.

Fulton County Sheriff’s OfficeDorian Moragne, 19, is one of three men police have been seeking for allegedly beating Brandon White, an attack captured on video and posted on the Internet

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Dorian Moragne, 19,  is taken into custody after turning himself in to police on Friday, Feb. 17, 2012. He is one of three men police have been seeking for allegedly beating Brandon White. Christopher Cain, 21, was arrested on Feb. 11.

Channel 2 Action NewsDorian Moragne, 19, is taken into custody after turning himself in to police on Friday, Feb. 17, 2012. He is one of three men police have been seeking for allegedly beating Brandon White. Christopher Cain, 21, was arrested on Feb. 11.

Dorian Moragne turned himself in to Atlanta police custody late Friday afternoon with his attorney close by. According to police, he will be charged with robbery and aggravated assault.

“It’s really important, despite what you may have seen on TV, or on YouTube, that everyone has a presumption of innocence … that cloaks them until and unless a jury of their peers finds them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” attorney Jay Abt told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution before his client surrendered to police.

Moragne, 19, is one of three men police have been seeking in the beating of Brandon White, since video footage of the Feb. 4 incident appeared on the internet.

His surrender makes him the second suspect in police custody. Christopher Cain, 21, was arrested on Feb. 11. Cain, who was being held in the Fulton County jail, is charged with aggravated assault, participation in a criminal street gang, robbery by force and burglary.

Police are still seeking a third man who has not been identified.

The incident happened in southeast Atlanta’s Pittsburgh community.

Video footage showed three men punching, kicking and even pummeling White with an abandoned car tire while shouting anti-gay slurs and the name of their gang, “1029 Jack City.” The gang derives its name from address members frequent – and where the incident occurred – 1029 McDaniels Street.

The video, along with community and lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender activists, alerted local and federal officials to the incident and gave Pittsburgh residents and business owners a rallying point against crime and violence in what they saw as a problem out of control.

The FBI joined with Atlanta police to track down the suspects, and federal authorities began investigating the incident as a hate crime.

But Moragne’s attorney cautioned people not to rush to judge his client.

“Mr. Moragne isn’t guilty of a hate crime,” Abt said. “He is a young man who has the potential of being a good person in the future. He has no feeling of hate for anyone, regardless of age, race, religion or sexual orientation.”

The investigation is ongoing.

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