It took three overdoses for police in West Hollywood to finally arrest Ed Buck — and perhaps only because the third survived. The prominent Democratic donor had been suspected of foul play in two earlier deaths in his home, but police had been reluctant to arrest him after he claimed the men injected themselves. Buck’s luck may have run out now, although so far he’s not been charged for the earlier deaths.
CBS calls him a Democratic “megadonor,” and while that might overstate things just a bit, there’s no doubt he moved in high circles:
Prominent Democratic donor and LGBTQ political activist Ed Buck was arrested Tuesday and charged with operating a drug house, with prosecutors calling him a violent sexual predator who preys on men struggling with addiction and homelessness.
Buck was charged with one count each of battery causing serious injury, administering methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. Buck is accused of injecting a 37-year-old man, who overdosed but survived, with methamphetamine on Sept. 11.
That latest incident comes after two men were found dead in his Laurel Avenue apartment in West Hollywood. In both cases, African American men — Gemmel Moore, 26, and Timothy Dean, 55 — had overdosed on methamphetamine inside. After the first death in 2017, authorities said there was insufficient evidence to file charges.
He might be being charged for the drugs, but the DA has more in mind for Buck. They want a $4 million bail ruling on the basis that Buck isn’t just running a drug house — he’s a “violent, dangerous sexual predator,” too:
A bail motion from the Los Angeles district attorney’s office states that Buck is “a violent, dangerous sexual predator. He mainly preys on men made vulnerable by addition and homelessness.” According to the documents, Buck personally administered “dangerously large doses of narcotics to his victims” and is “a predator with no regard for human life.”
As some activists in the LGBTQ community now point out, this is information that might have been helpful before the latest episode. Police have insisted for some time that they lacked evidence to charge Buck in the previous two overdose deaths, not even for supplying the drugs. Buck’s attorneys insisted on those occasions that the men had the drugs already and self-administered their fatal overdoses. Since they were no longer alive to contradict that, police insist they were stymied.
Now it sounds like the DA thinks he can prove the case against Buck for multiple “victims.” Prosecutors used the plural in the bail motion, an accusation for which prosecutors have to produce some basis in fact. That alone promises more charges to come. The remark about Buck being “violent” as well as “dangerous” sounds as though more charges might be forthcoming, although the single count of felony battery technically qualifies as “violent,” even if it just means sticking someone with a needle against their will.
One has to wonder whether the language in the bail motion was used because prosecutors finally have a Buck victim who survived. If it turns out that they had more evidence all along, expect serious questions to be raised about whether Buck’s status as a “megadonor” to Democrats gave him carte blanche to prey on the homeless and drug-addicted … as long as they couldn’t talk.