Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier announced Thursday, Sept. 27, that Philip Anderton Cooney has been arrested and charged with simple assault, following a Sept. 9 attack one block from Georgetown University. In that attack, the victim claims to have walked through a sidewalk crowd as a party dispersed, after which two men shouted anti-gay epithets and attacked him, leaving him with cuts, bruises and a broken thumb. Police labeled the attack a hate crime.
Both Cooney and the victim are Georgetown University students, according to GU Pride, which organized a rally against hate crime Oct. 1. Cooney, of Texas, has been reported to be the son of Philip Anderton Cooney Sr., a former member of President George W. Bush's administration. The elder Cooney resigned from the White House's Council on Environmental Quality in 2005. Charges arose after his departure that he had manipulated government reports to downplay the role of greenhouse gasses in climate change.
''The Metropolitan Police Department takes all crime seriously and is committed to bringing a swift end to crimes of hate and bias,'' Lanier said in a statement. She stressed there has been no recent spike in District hate crimes.