WATERLOO, Iowa --- A Waterloo resident is charged with a hate crime for allegedly beating a person who is gay outside a bar while yelling homophobic slurs.

Black Hawk County Sheriff's deputies arrested Mitcheal Baruth, 27, on Friday on a warrant issued by the Waterloo Police Department. The warrant was for misdemeanor assault in violation of individual rights, fifth-degree criminal mischief and obstruction of emergency communication. Baruth was later released from jail.

The arrest stems from an incident March 23 at Packers Inn on Rath Street. The victim was out with his boyfriend and his boyfriend's parents.

When the two men kissed in the bar, Baruth, who was also at the bar, asked if they were "queer," according to court records.

When the man left the bar, Baruth followed him into the parking lot and tackled him. Baruth got on top of the man and allegedly punched the victim several times, yelling "faggot."

The charges against Baruth fall under the state's hate crime statutes for offenses committed because of a person's race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability.

Hate crimes increase the level of punishment. In Baruth's case, the assault charge was elevated from a serious misdemeanor to an aggravated misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to two years in prison.

(4) comments


Is "Packer's Inn" the full name of the establishment?

Lita Wester
Lita Wester

Yes, but it was named decades ago stemming from Rath Packing Company!

Great mom
Great mom

serously? you are commenting about the name of the establishment? as that what this article is about? Although I do not support the kind of life style the vitim has I do not judge it. And it was definately wrong for Mr. Baruth to do what he did. It showed lack of respect. Certainly if this had happened in front of my children i would have respectfully asked them to please refrain from that in from of my young children. So Mr. Baruth was offened...big deal...... he could have left to another area of the bar and he was wrong to pursue physical violence. So many better ways to handle a situation like that.....


Being gay is not a lifestyle. A lifestyle is something you have control over. Partying is a lifestyle, but your sexual orientation is not. It is not something people choose to do. And people have the right to show affection in a public place. Would it be an issue for kids to see a straight couple kissing in public? It is affection, love, and compassion. The same way it would be if 2 straight people kissed in public. The problems stands when people are so worried about what they will have to tell their children. It's love. At the very least, it's affection. Some kids just won't be lucky enough to know that love comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and sexes. And those kids are the ones who turn into a copy of this horrible man who couldn't stand to see 2 people chose to show their love for each other. Being gay is not a choice, therefore, it is not a choice"lifestyle".

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.