A second suspect has been arrested in a brutal attack on a gay man in Montrose earlier this month.
Caleb Tout Sr., 43, was arrested Aug. 21 and charged with robbery causing bodily injury, a first-degree felony, according to Harris County district court records. Tout’s son, Caleb John Tout Jr., previously was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault.
The Touts face charges in connection with an attack on 28-year-old Christopher Bradford in the early morning hours of Aug. 1, near Taft and Westheimer in Montrose. According to Bradford, he was walking home from Barcode when the suspects ran up from behind, and began punching and kicking him. They also allegedly beat him with their belt buckles, and bludgeoned him with a rock.
Bradford was taken to an emergency room with bleeding around his brain, as well as severe cuts to his head. He was released the following day.
Bradford has said he believes the incident was an anti-gay hate crime, because he had just left a gay bar and the suspects had no other reason to be in the neighborhood. However, Houston police have said there is no evidence indicating it was a hate crime.
Caleb Tout Sr. is charged with robbery because he was later found in possession of the victim’s cell phone, court records show. Caleb Tout Jr. and his girlfriend, Britain Beets, told police they had been hanging out with Caleb Tout Sr. at Avant Garden, a nearby bar. Surveillance video showed Caleb Tout Sr. entering Avant Garden with his son and Beets, and witnesses said he participated in the attack. However, Caleb Tout Sr. reportedly fled before police located his son and Beets following the incident.
Asked about Caleb Tout Sr.’s arrest, Bradford said that he forgives the two men.
“I need to move past it, and I need to get the anger out my heart,” Bradford told OutSmart.
He added that while his injuries have healed, “the scars aren’t going to go away.”
On Sunday, Aug. 26, Bradford posed for the Pride Portraits campaign. In a statement accompanying his photograph, Bradford said that he was divorced with a daughter, and working for a Christian organization, when he came out at age 25.
“I had the support of my friends, family and my coworkers,” Bradford wrote. “They lifted me up and made me feel good for being me. I was oblivious of the hatred in the world towards the LGBTQIA+ community.”
Bradford added the hatred “became very real” on the night he was attacked.
“I received comments on my [Facebook] post [about the incident] telling me I should have died—that I deserved what I got and that was not fit to be a parent,” he said. “I received direct messages from people with details I won’t share. The best I could do was just to delete them.:
Bradford said he can no longer walk down the street without being uncomfortable or flinching when someone walks by too fast, and that he has even gotten dirty looks.
“The hardest part is forgiving them, and still being the best me I can be,” he said. “I don’t know how anyone in this world has the energy to hate. Hate is not a substitute for comfort or happiness. If anything it takes from it. So I forgive everyone that has verbally attacked me, and I forgive those who physically attacked me as well. At a time where there is so much hatred in the world I refuse to put any more in it. So I will advocate against hate. I will stand with anyone who needs support being themselves. I will put nothing but love into this world.”