LONG BEACH -- An ex-Marine was arrested in a Chicago suburb this week on suspicion of assault and a hate crime for the September beating outside a popular Long Beach gay bar that left one of two victims unconscious, officials said.
John Kelly O'Leary, 21, was arrested late Monday at a relative's house in Evergreen Park, said Sgt. Jack McCarthy of the Evergreen Park Police Department.
O'Leary should be extradited to Long Beach next week, Nancy Pratt, a Long Beach Police Department spokeswoman, said.
When he is arraigned, O'Leary will be charged with two felony counts: one for battery with serious bodily injury and one for assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury. He is being held on $105,000 bail.
If convicted, O'Leary could face eight years in state prison, Deputy District Attorney Gretchen Ford, who is assigned to the Hate Crimes Unit, said.
A felony complaint for O'Leary's arrest was filed April 5. Long Beach investigators tracked O'Leary to Chicago and contacted the Evergreen Park police for assistance in arresting him, she said.
Four U.S. Marines based at Camp Pendleton were initially arrested in the Sept. 3 incident, but O'Leary is the only one who will be charged.
Investigators say O'Leary went to the Silver Fox on Redondo Avenue with three other Marines. Bar manager John Barnes told the Press-Telegram in September that the Marines entered the bar about an hour before closing time and seemed visibly uncomfortable. One of the Marines called Barnes "sweetheart" in a demeaning tone.
The Marines appeared to be enjoying themselves inside the bar, but at closing time, O'Leary went outside and things turned ugly, he said.
O'Leary was standing in the street yelling and someone from the bar came outside and attempted to move him out of the street, but to no avail. When that person went back into the bar, the first victim tried to convince O'Leary to step out of the street, too, but O'Leary allegedly shouted anti-gay slurs at the man, who was knocked unconscious and fractured a hip, said Jane Robison, a Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office spokeswoman.
As the first victim was being attacked, a second person tried to help the first victim, but O'Leary began punching and choking him. At the same time, the three other Marines tried to break up the fight before police arrived, she said.
Since the three other Marines were trying to break up the fight, they will not be charged, Robison said.
It took prosecutors several months to file charges because they had numerous witnesses to interview, Robison said.
O'Leary was discharged from the Marines on Oct. 19, but Defense Department official David Olliff would not detail the circumstances surrounding O'Leary's dismissal.