Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 3 / 18 January 2018

Man in kissing incident changes story; police have no record of call


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The gay man who told the Bay Area Reporter that San Francisco police wouldn't respond after he said he and his boyfriend were ejected from a wine bar after kissing each other apparently didn't call authorities after all.

The man, Joshua Barry, also changed his story when the B.A.R. contacted him last week, before abruptly ending the call.

When first contacted on August 3, Barry, 26, told the B.A.R. that he had called the police after he and his boyfriend were kicked out of a Richmond District wine cafe after they shared a kiss.

But after the story's publication August 6, Richmond police Captain Richard Corriea called the B.A.R. to say that after a thorough search of department logs, he had not found any record of the call, which is unusual, he said.

Barry's first account to the paper said that at about 11:15 p.m. on Friday, July 31, he and his boyfriend, Sebastian Schilbe, 26, stopped at Internos Wine Cafe, located at 3240 Geary Boulevard, before going to the Midnight Mass movie show nearby.

Barry, who's also known as Joshzilla, asked at the bar if there was an ATM. He said that the owner told him no, but that there was a cash machine two blocks away.

Barry said that he then turned to his boyfriend and gave him a hug, and the two kissed and talked about what to do next.

He said that the owner of the bar shouted at them that they were "faggots" and "perverts," told them their behavior was inappropriate and they needed to get out, and grabbed Barry by his T-shirt and dragged him out of the bar. Another man pushed Schilbe around, according to Barry.

Barry said after leaving the bar, he and Schilbe went to Mel's Drive-In and called the police. Barry said that police declined to make a report or take pictures.

"They said that we must have been causing trouble and we should not go back there and cause any more trouble," Barry said on Tuesday, August 4.

But Corriea called the B.A.R. on August 6 and said he could not locate any record that a call came in about that alleged incident.

Corriea said, "it may well be they called from another location," but police had "scoured" their computer records up and down Geary and its side streets and couldn't find information on the call.

He said he wanted to find out "exactly what happened" and provided his phone number and e-mail address so that Barry could contact him.

Corriea said the incident sounded "highly unusual and is not something that should just disappear."

Story changes

Asked last Thursday about Corriea's comments, Barry told the B.A.R. that if police failed to file a report, then there wouldn't be a record of it.

He said that he and Schilbe had gone to Mel's Drive-In, which is near the bar, and called a police non-emergency number, but they couldn't get a hold of anyone. He indicated they talked to officers in a police car near Internos instead.

That differs from his initial account to the paper last week, when Barry made no mention of his stopping a police cruiser.

When pressed for more information, Barry said, "This was so long ago already ... my story hasn't changed really at all."

"The story I gave you is the one I have," he added.

"We got out a phone book," said Barry. "There's a bunch of police numbers. We called all of them."

Asked for more information about the police car, Barry said, "Okay, gotta go," and hung up the phone.

He did not return subsequent calls.

Corriea said Tuesday, August 11 that he has yet to hear from Barry and he's disappointed he hasn't called.

"I really encourage him to call me," said Corriea. "I'll be glad to meet with him."

"I want to make sure that we provided the service that we should have provided that night," the captain added.

Corriea said that if Barry had been reporting an incident when speaking with officers, they would have entered the information into a computer.

Sergeant Lyn Tomioka, a police spokeswoman, had told the B.A.R. last week before the original story ran that there had been no record of police responding to Internos.

A statement dated August 2 and posted on the cafe's Web site said that two men had gone to use a single stall bathroom together, and had not ordered anything from the bar.

After the men had left the bathroom, customers had claimed "inappropriate behavior" was taking place, the statement said.

According to the statement, others observed the two men making out, putting their hands in each other's pants and starting to disrobe from the waist down.

A staff member asked them to leave "and then had to escort them out of the bar forcefully when the two men became confused and aggressive. There were absolutely no derogatory terms exchanged," the statement said.

On Saturday, August 1, about 50 people gathered in front of the business and held a kiss-in in protest of the bar's alleged actions.

No one from Internos has responded to e-mails from the B.A.R. or answered the phone.

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