Man and wife indicted on charges in attack of gay couple walking pink poodle
HILLSBORO, Ore. - A federal grand jury has indicted a man and his wife on charges related to the March attack of a gay couple walking a pink poodle in Hillsboro.
Prosecutors alleged 23-year-old George Allen Mason Jr. struck one of the gay men with a crowbar tool while hurling gay slurs on March 1. The attack happened at 185th and Evergreen next to a busy strip mall.
Several witnesses said the attacker, later identified as Mason, did a U-turn, got out of his car and went after the couple in the middle of a crosswalk in the middle of the day.
Mason was indicted Wednesday by federal prosecutors in Portland on a hate crime charge. His 23-year-old wife, Saraya Sophia Lisa Gardner, who was in the car at the time of the attack, was charged with obstruction of justice.
Prosecutors said Gardner lied about her husband's whereabouts while police were searching for him. Then, she's accused of repeatedly changing her story about which weapon Mason used to hit the victim.
The victim, 26-year-old David Beltier, gave an interview to KATU in March and said he was happy to be alive.
Beltier said he and his boyfriend, Jeremy Mark, were on a walk with their pink poodle "Beauty" - one of three colorful dogs dyed with Kool-Aid for Easter. Beltier said he dyed the dogs for fun.
But the fun with his poodle prompted profanities from a stranger, Belier said, who did a U-turn, got out of his car and began punching Beltier in the street. Mason allegedly returned with a metal tool, police said.
Mason fled, but a witness got his license plate number and police used that to track down his 1997 Land Rover.
If convicted of hate crime, Mason faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Gardner faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison if convicted of obstruction of justice.