The FBI has launched a preliminary investigation into whether the beating of a gay Savannah man warrants federal charges as a hate crime.
Two U.S. Marines stationed in South Carolina have been charged with battery in the beating of 26-year-old Kieran Daly. Police found him unconcious on a downtown street corner early Saturday.
FBI spokesman Steve Emmett said Monday the agency is looking into the case along with federal prosecutors.
Savannah police say witnesses told them one of the Marines had punched Daly in the back of the head. They said the suspects accused Daly of winking at them.
The Marines — Keil Cronauer and Christopher Stanzel — told police they were trying to get away from a gay man who was harassing them. Both were arrested and later released to military police.