Amite — A man accused of holding a mentally ill person while dogs attacked him — an attack that was caught on video and shared on Facebook — refused a plea deal in Tangipahoa Parish court Wednesday morning.
Assistant District Attorney Blair Alford offered 23-year-old Quenton Anderson, of Hammond, a 10-year sentence in exchange for pleading guilty to a bevy of charges including the commission of a hate crime. District Attorney spokeswoman Rachael Beard has confirmed the hate crime charge stems from the victim’s disability status. A Louisiana probation status report filed on the victim in 2006 notes he is a bipolar, paranoid schizophrenic.
The victim told investigators in February 2014 that he went to an apartment to get drugs when Anderson and his brother Aasino Anderson, 22, “grabbed and (dragged) him outside the apartment and allowed the dogs to attack him causing cuts to his right (biceps) and on his lower back,” according to a report filed by Tangipahoa Sheriff’s Cpl. Marshall Hayes Jr.
Another man took a video of the incident and put it on Facebook. Hayes watched the footage and saw the Andersons “cheered on the attack” by two dogs in front of a crowd.
Aasino Anderson was arrested a few days later and interviewed. He said he and his brother knew the victim had a mental disability, Detective Koven Banks wrote in his case notes.
The Andersons held the victim and swung him around as he was being bitten. Aasino Anderson told Banks he posted the video online “to get a lot of likes on Facebook. ... I wanted to see if I could get famous.” He said they didn’t mean any harm and “just did it for fun,” Banks wrote.
Aasino Anderson pleaded guilty in July to aggravated battery and charges from an unrelated incident, and the state dropped the hate crime charge. He was sentenced to three years.
Quenton Anderson is scheduled to appear in court again April 22. He faces charges of aggravated second-degree battery and the commission of a hate crime in relation to the February 2014 incident, as well as various unrelated counts including battery, drug offenses and aggravated flight from an officer.
Mark Thomas, executive director of the Louisiana branch of the nonprofit Mental Health America, said charges of hate crimes against people with mental disabilities are rare.
In his 13 years with the organization, he’s never seen it happen except for incidents of bullying among children.
“It just hasn’t been a major issue ... that’s been brought up on our radar,” he said.
Follow Steve Hardy on Twitter, @SteveRHardy.