Florida Keys

A man accused of a violent attack in Key West says there are too many gays, cops say

Joshua Vaughan
Joshua Vaughan Monroe County Sheriff's Office

A panhandler in downtown Key West attacked a passerby who refused to give him a handout, and then broke a Duval Street window to steal a pair of sunglasses, police said.

Joshua James Vaughan, 29, was arrested on charges of battery, criminal mischief and burglary — all felonies — and misdemeanor theft.

On his way to jail, Vaughan told officers Key West had too many “faggots,” and that he gets into arguments with people downtown because they get mad when he calls them the name, according to a police report.

Vaughan was first arrested in the battery on Christopher Livesay, who was found lying on the ground and covered in blood at about 3:20 a.m. Monday at the intersection of Appelrouth Lane and Duval Street, according to Key West police.

“There was blood splattered all over the sidewalk around him,” Officer Joelle Grassi wrote in a report.

Livesay said he was leaving his job at Mary Ellen’s Bar, 420 Appelrouth Lane, when a homeless man asked him for money and became confrontational when he said no.

Livesay said the man ran across Duval Street and tackled him, slamming him into the storefront window of La Trattoria Restaurant, 524 Duval St. Then the man boasted about how cool he was and left.

The attack caused Livesay to fall and hit his head on the sidewalk. He chipped a tooth in the process and he was bleeding heavily from his nose. Blood was smeared on the restaurant window behind Livesay, whose face was badly swollen, poilce said.

The suspect had been in Mary Ellen’s Bar earlier and was told to leave by the bartender for yelling and cursing at people.

Livesay identified Vaughan as his attacker after police stopped a man who resembled the suspect’s description in the 800 block of Duval Street. Vaughan was also covered in blood and had a cut on his hand, police say. A patron at the 801 Bar said Vaughan had been in the bar and attacked a man.

About one hour before the attack, police said surveillance video shows Vaughan throwing a rock into the window of Eyes on Duval, 914 Duval, and take a pair of sunglasses that were on display.

Vaughan was identified in part by the neck tattoo he has, police said. The sunglasses cost $220 and the window damage was estimated at $3,000.

On Tuesday, Vaughan was locked up at the Stock Island Detention Center without bond.