Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank held a press conference last week after the Salt Lake Tribune reported that police were looking into the investigation of Dane Hall’s assault as drug-related and not motivated by hate. The Tribune also released information about Hall’s prior arrest on drug charges. Burbank, however, denied that a theory related to drugs held any more credence than other theories and all avenues are still being investigated.
“There is no more credence to [Hall’s assault] being motivated by drugs than by hate … We are investigating all angles,” Burbank said. “We pursue an assault. An assault on an individual occurred, which is inappropriate in our community and we’re not going to tolerate it, regardless of the motivation.
There’s no new information, this is not new information,” Burbank said. “We’re investigating an aggravated assault. What motivated that crime is also part of what we’re investigating. We’re looking at whatever could have done it.”
The motive of the crime is not likely to be known until after an arrest and interrogation of a suspect in the crime, Burbank said.
Hall has vehemently denied that drugs were at all related to the incident.
Hall was brutally attacked outside of Club Sound in Salt Lake City on Aug. 27. As a result of the attack he was hospitalized for several days, had six teeth severely chipped and his jaw was broken in three places. Hall said he did not know his attackers, and that they shouted gay slurs at him during the incident.
In a statement, Hall’s lawyer also wrote, “Hall underwent a blood test immediately after the attack, and it showed there were no illicit narcotics in Hall’s system and he did not have any illegal drugs in his possession.”
A description of a single suspect was released as a white, male, adult in his mid-20s; 5 feet, 10 inches tall with a medium build; short or shaved, lighter-colored or possibly sandy-blond hair. He was last seen getting into a gray or silver, four-door, compact car with a hatchback. This vehicle may have a white, vinyl sticker, about 10 to 12 inches in size, in the rear window of the hatchback.
Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call the SLCPD Dispatch at 801-799-3000. Or text the keyword “TIPSLCPD” plus the information to 274637 (CRIMES). A link to download the free TipSubmit mobile application is available on their website, slcpd.com. Tipsters always may remain anonymous.
Since the attack was first reported, rallies, fundraisers and community discussions have been organized in Utah and around the country.
Burbank said the attack on Hall is not related to other attacks on gay men, including one that occurred on the same evening.