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.