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Man arrested in alleged hate crime beating in NYC says no bias because he too is gay

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Damian Furtch

Police have arrested one of two men responsible for an alleged hate crime attack on a gay man in New York City’s West Village last month, but the man arrested claims the attack was not a hate crime — because he is also gay.

Anthony Bray, 21, confessed to the March 27 attack on Damian Furtch, 26, but said he attacked Furtch “because he was disrespectful,” not because of anti-gay bias.

The New York Daily News reports:

“The fact that the attacker in custody alleges he is gay does not change the fact that he shouted anti-gay slurs while attacking me,” Furtch said in a statement.

“I look forward to the criminal trial where all of the accurate details will come out.”

Cops said they haven’t ruled out the possibility of slapping Bray with hate crime charges, but one police source suggested that’s unlikely.

“It might come down to two guys having a fistfight,” the source said.

The early morning attack reportedly ignited after the three men got into a heated exchange inside a McDonalds restarant. Bray, and a yet unidentified suspect, allegedly made fun of Furtch’s bright-colored clothing.

According to Furtch, his attackers followed him outside the restaurant, and shouted “You Fucking Faggot” while pummeling him with repeated blows to his face and head.

The attack was caught on a police surveillance camera; watch:

Furtch suffered a broken nose, two black eyes, and required stitches and surgery that reportedly lasted several hours.

Bray, who is homeless, has a criminal record that includes arrests for marijuana, graffiti and robbery.

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Filed under: New York

30 more reader comments:

  1. That’s a strange plot twist.

    Posted on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 9:55am
  2. That’s a strange plot twist.

    Posted on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 9:55am
  3. Dun dun dun DUN!

    Posted on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 9:56am
  4. Epic plot twist.

    Posted on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 9:57am
  5. You can be gay and homophobic, hello.

    Posted on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 9:59am
  6. Interesting defense

    Posted on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 9:59am
  7. :(

    Posted on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 9:59am
  8. I have wondered, about this, if somebody advised the suspect that he could evade the more serious hate crime charge by claiming to be gay. Certainly in the past, gay bashings have been carried out by closeted gay people who harbor internalized homophobia. I’m concerned about the way the police may be handling the investigation, because I read one report where a “police source” told the New York Post that “it might just boil down to a fistfight. If you look at the video of the attack, you see it was an attack, not a fistfight. The police should not be taking the suspect’s statements at face value.

    Posted on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 10:00am
  9. still i don’t see how its a hate crime, really i just think that maybe we should put it in a new kinda category, instead of hate crimes, do it based on stature, as in size, you know the saying pick on someone your own size

    Posted on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 10:02am
  10. still i don’t see how its a hate crime, really i just think that maybe we should put it in a new kinda category, instead of hate crimes, do it based on stature, as in size, you know the saying pick on someone your own size

    Posted on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 10:02am
  11. i love how we’re turning our backs on each other now. great!

    Posted on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 10:02am
  12. i love how we’re turning our backs on each other now. great!

    Posted on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 10:02am
  13. ^*dun dun DUUNNN* x’s two… :/ eff’d up….

    Posted on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 10:05am
  14. ^*dun dun DUUNNN* x’s two… :/ eff’d up….

    Posted on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 10:05am
  15. internalized homophobia is awful and can lead to self-hate.

    Posted on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 10:06am
  16. Were they from Jersey?

    Posted on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 10:09am
  17. So that is all it takes to get away with a hate crime? Does this also mean that a white man can beat down a man of another color (and vice versa) as long as he claims their heritage exists in his ancestory? Whether the accused is gay or not, it seems the fight was instigated because the other man is homosexual (based on the remarks that were made,) and I’m fairly certain that is what determines a hate crime.

    Posted on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 10:09am
  18. So that is all it takes to get away with a hate crime? Does this also mean that a white man can beat down a man of another color (and vice versa) as long as he claims their heritage exists in his ancestory? Whether the accused is gay or not, it seems the fight was instigated because the other man is homosexual (based on the remarks that were made,) and I’m fairly certain that is what determines a hate crime.

    Posted on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 10:09am
  19. ancestry**

    Posted on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 10:12am
  20. Not only does the video show that the attacker did not act in self-defense, the fact the attacker did not notify the police of the incident re-inforces that he did not act in self-defense. What credible argument could be made that this suspect is not guilty of assault? The evidence will have to be very carefully examined to determine whether hate crime charges could apply. Where “gender expression” is a protected class, a macho gay person who attacked an effeminate one at least in part because of the victim’s effeminacy would not necessarily have success getting excused from hate crime charges merely for claiming to be gay.

    Posted on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 10:12am
  21. would it be only half a hate crime if he was bi? :

    Posted on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 10:17am
  22. Quite frankly, ridiculous.

    Posted on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 10:19am
  23. :O wow

    Posted on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 10:46am
  24. I AGREE WITH KIERRA BROOKS .. O WOW.. :( .. THIS IS NOT GOOD.. GOD BLESS ALL THE GAYS AND PROTECT THEM.. NO ONE GAY OR STRAIGHT DESERVES TO BE ABUSE LIKE THIS.. VERY WRONG.. HOPE THE PERSON ROTS IN JAIL UNTIL THEY LEARN THEIR LESSON.. MUAH KISSES.

    Posted on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 12:15pm
  25. Hate is hate!

    Posted on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 12:31pm
  26. Didn’t see that coming.

    Posted on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 1:02pm
  27. Of course the dude is lying. He is just try not get charged with a hate crime. If he gets away with this, people are going to just lie and say their gay so they can hurt gay people.

    Posted on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 1:55pm
  28. He is just trying to not get charged with a hate crime.**

    Posted on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 1:56pm
  29. the term “hate crime” referring to specific attacks that meet a certain criteria is odd to me.. seeing what was done to this man, and how it was done, that is a lot of anger and a lot of hate, no matter the reason. One way or another it should be taken very seriously, categorizing the reasons shouldn’t be an issue. He attacked another human being brutally. Period. Black, white, gay, straight, female, male, people attacking people is wrong.

    Posted on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 7:35pm
  30. the term “hate crime” referring to specific attacks that meet a certain criteria is odd to me.. seeing what was done to this man, and how it was done, that is a lot of anger and a lot of hate, no matter the reason. One way or another it should be taken very seriously, categorizing the reasons shouldn’t be an issue. He attacked another human being brutally. Period. Black, white, gay, straight, female, male, people attacking people is wrong.

    Posted on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 7:35pm