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Homeless man arrested in connection with NYC hate crime

By Kase Wickman
Saturday, April 2, 2011 12:48 EDT
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A 21-year-old homeless man was arrested Friday night in connection with the brutal beating of Damian Furtch. The New York Daily News reports that Anthony Bray, the man who was arrested, confessed to beating Furtch, but insisted that it wasn’t a hate crime because he himself is also gay.

Furtch, 26, was attacked March 27 outside of a McDonald’s in the West Village, an area of New York where flamboyant dressing and same-sex couples are not uncommon. Furtch said he was with a friend and noticed two men staring at him in the restaurant and making fun of his brightly colored clothes , so he stepped outside to use the phone and break the tension.

“The two gentlemen stepped out after me and asked if I had a problem,” Furtch told GLAAD. “I told one of them that I had stepped out just to use the phone and had no problem with him or his three friends. Then, all of a sudden the second gentleman hit me on the right side of my face causing me to stumble. Then I felt three punches to the face.”

(See the tail end of surveillance footage of the attack, embedded at the bottom of this post. Furtch is punched so hard he stumbles into traffic. The footage is not graphic.)

Furtch said his attackers called him a “f*cking f*ggot” while they pursued him.

Bray insisted that the attack, which left Furtch with two black eyes, a gash on his face, and a nose that will need to be re-broken to heal properly, is not a hate crime because he is also gay. Cops say they have not ruled out the possibility of charging Bray with a hate crime.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has been outspoken about the incident, and called it a “total act of cowardice” and “absolute bullying.”

Image via Facebook.

Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
 
 
 
 
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