A Cappella Assault

By JoCo January 12, 2007

This story is strange for so many reasons. At a New Year’s Eve party in San Francisco, an a cappella group from Yale called the Baker’s Dozen was singing the Star Spangled Banner. A couple of locals who don’t like a cappella (or perhaps, America?) started yelling some stuff at them, calling them faggots, making fun of their ties, probably also their jazz hands. Nothing out of the ordinary so far – when you sing in an all male a cappella group, sometimes beefy sports-loving frat boys hate you.

But then one of the hecklers called in reinforcements (what the?) and threatened “I’m 20 deep, my boys are coming.” When the group left the party, a van full of his boys jumped them and beat them up, sending one of them to the hospital with a broken jaw. There’s now some talk that the police investigation has been a little less than thorough.


Glenn says

I thought for a second the a capella group alled for support (the Whiffenpoof Special Weapons Unit, or the Spizzwink Tactical Assault Squad, maybe?) I was disappointed and appalled to learn that the hecklers had decided names weren't enough.

JesseThorn says

I read this in the paper and immediately thought of you, but thought it would be creepy to forward it to you :).

minimo says

Goddamn. This is the first I'm hearing of this, and I'm local!
I will fill in the blanks from what I know of SF culture.
Gangsta chic is popular among adolescents, but it is often just fashion, and harmless. However, there are kids who are kinda crazy who have higher aspirations of being actual gang members, even though they graduated from a rich private school. They are giving their moms nervous breakdowns, and maybe even hanging with real gang members.

The kids who instigated the beating were party crashers. So they were already feeling 'dissed' by being told they didn't belong at the party. I'm going to guess wildly that the pediatrician's son who apparently called in the 'reinforcements' might have a prior history of being obsessed with 'faggots' and has found himself a bunch of like-minded bloodthirsty dudes.

If this case involves a bunch of rich kids with no prior records, you can see why they wouldn't have been thrown in jail. There will be a drive to cover it up 'to not ruin young lives'. (Of course, you only worry about ruining the life of a kid from a wealthy family.) If it consists of a mixture of rich kids and kids who have been in trouble before, assigning blame gets even more complicated. How much do you think the cops are hoping that the kid who actually did the jaw breaking was one of the kids from a worse family?

It is horrifying that the police didn't interview the victims at the time.

Joe says

That's absolutely terrible. A friend of mine in our group forwarded that along my way. As a member of an all-male barbershop/a cappella group, this hits all the closer to home. It makes you wonder about people, like we needed the encouragement.

minimo says

I am obsessed with this story. Here's a podcast I liked that I think got to the heart of a lot of aspects of this horrible story, by a gay chef from Yale.