Another Man Gay Bashed in Brooklyn

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Wednesday March 10, 2010

In what the media has labeled a "bias attack," five men assaulted a lone 22-year-old victim in the Carroll Gardens section of Brooklyn, a gentrified neighborhood that Wikipedia describes as a middle class enclave "sprinkled with cafes, boutiques and antique shops."

Local news channel WABC reported that the attack took place at about 8:00 p.m. on March 2,when a gang of about five men launched into an assault on a lone pedestrian. The gang shouted anti-gay epithets while beating the man, leaving him with bruises and a head laceration. The victim was treated at a hospital and released.

Local residents were shocked. Said one, "After hearing about the unprovoked attack just because someone looked different, I'll be more careful walking around here," the news channel reported.

City officials also expressed their concern, with openly lesbian City Council Speaker Christine Quinn telling the media, "I was appalled and sickened to learn of last weeks anti-LGBT hate crime in Carroll Gardens. New York City's greatest strength is our diversity. All New Yorkers should be free to walk our streets without fear of being attacked for who they are or who they are perceived to be." Added Quinn, "The victim of last weeks attack was simply walking on the street when he was beaten by a group of men while being called anti-gay epithets. This is outrageous and unacceptable. We thank the NYPD for their swift response to this case, and urge the alleged perpetrators to turn themselves in immediately. They and any other bigots need to know that the NYPD responds in full force to any and all hate crimes."

"Carroll Gardens is a diverse community," said Brad Lander, a city councilmember. "We have no room for hate in our community. We embrace every race, religion and sexual orientation. We will not tolerate hate and violence in Carroll Gardens or anywhere else in New York City."

"In a world as diverse as ours, we cannot tolerate violence based on actual or perceived identity, because if we do we are all vulnerable," stated the The Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Campaign.

The news channel reported that the Hate Crimes Task Force of the New York Police Department is investigating. They do not have descriptions of the alleged assailants, but they are looking at security camera footage to see if the attack might have been captured on video.

The attack is only the latest in a string of anti-gay bias attacks that have taken place in New York. In December of 2008, Ecuadorian immigrant Jose Sucuzhañay was set upon and beaten by four baseball-bat wielding assailants who mistakenly thought he was gay; Sucuzhañay died from his injuries. Last year, the city re-named a street corner in his honor.

Two men, Daniel Aleman, 26, and Daniel Rodriguez, Jr., 21, were accused of beating 49-year-old allegedly beat Jack Price nearly to death in an attack last Oct. 9 on the corner of College Point and 18th Avenues in Queens; that attack inspired a march against hate.

A transgender woman, Leslie Mora, 31, was attacked by two men in Jackson Heights last June. Gilberto Ortiz, 32, and Trinidad Tapia, 19, were charged in the crime. In July, Carmella Etienne was allegedly attacked by Nathaniel Mims and Rasheed Thomas, who reportedly assaulted her with rocks and bottles.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.