Cronauer and Stanzel told police they were being harassed by a gay man and wanted to get away from him. But witnesses painted a different picture, according to the report.
They told police one of the men grew angry because he thought Daly was winking at him and struck Daly in the back of the head with his fist, knocking him unconscious.
Saturday night, from his bed at Memorial University Medical Center, Daly insisted he tried to convince the Marines he was not winking at them.
“The guy thought I was winking at him,” Daly said. “I told him, ‘I was squinting, man. … I’m tired.'”
Daly said one of the men told him he demanded respect because he served in Iraq. And at least one hurled slurs at him as he tried to walk away.
“That’s the last thing I remember is walking away,” Daly said.
Daly said after his friends performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation at the scene, he was taken to Memorial University Medical Center and diagnosed with bruises to his brain. He had two seizures immediately after the attack and was expected to remain at Memorial for several days.
Georgia is only one of five states without a hate crime law. A federal hate crimes law was signed by President Obama late last year.
For Daly, who told the newspaper he came out only six months ago and now realizes the two men who allegedly beat him face only a misdemeanor, Georgia’s lack of a hate crime law is a grave matter.
“It leaves me wondering why Georgia is one of five states that doesn’t have a hate crime law on the state level,” he said.
The Savannah-Chatham police department’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender liaison is involved in the investigation, according to a police spokesperson.
The Savannah newspaper reported Cronauer and Stanzel were charged with battery charges and jailed in Chatham County before being released to military police.