SIDNEY — A 28-year-old Sidney man has been accused of committing a hate crime.
Cheyenne County Deputy Attorney Jonathan Stellar said third-degree assault charges against Nathan Pohl have been enhanced to a Class IV felony because Pohl allegedly assaulted another man because of the victim's sexual orientation.
According to court documents, Pohl is accused of assaulting Edward Hecker on March 2 at a Sidney bar.
Hecker told police he had been leaving the bar with friends when Pohl struck him.
A man smoking outside the bar told police he had to stop Pohl from assaulting Hecker. The man told police he believed that Pohl had struck Hecker “because Nathan stated that he doesn't like gays,” the arrest affidavit said.
Another witness said Pohl called the man anti-gay slurs.
Initially, Pohl was arrested on suspicion of disturbing the peace and criminal trespass. The formal charge of third-degree assault was filed March 19.
Pohl appeared in Cheyenne County Court on Monday and was ordered to stand trial in Cheyenne County District Court.
Pohl is currently out of jail after having posted bail, according to online court records.
— World-Herald News Service