Gay-Basher Serves 21 Days in Prison for Brutal Attacks on Three Men
Right now pretty much everyone and their mother knows that Lindsay Lohan just got 90 days in jail for probation violation. In a far less publicized sentencing, Driton Nicaj, a 20-year-old man who assaulted three gay men on the Upper East Side in 2009 (including one attack that was originally charged as a hate crime) was sentenced to 45 days in jail and three years on probation, per Gay City News. Yup, math gurus, that's actually half the sentence that Lindsay got, and technically, she didn't hurt anyone besides herself.
Joe Holladay, pictured -- who, full disclosure, has worked as a sales rep for both the Voice and my former employer Radar -- was assaulted on East 85th Street last year.
As reported by the Voice's Roy Edroso, on Pride Weekend, no less,
Holladay tells us that he walked out of John Jerome's apartment on East 85th Street between York and East End Avenues, where he'd been staying, at about 4 a.m. to smoke a cigarette on the sidewalk, and five or six young men swarmed him.
"It's very blurry," he says, "But yeah, they said 'faggot.' And the next thing I know I'm in the hospital."
Jerome, an acting coach, heard the fracas and came downstairs to find his friend "in a pool of blood. I thought he was dead. He wasn't moving."
The wound on Holliday's head, which he believes was caused by the butt of a gun, required stitches.
The day after assaulting Holladay, Nicaj assaulted two other men, giving one a broken nose and three skull fractures that required six hours of surgery to insert a metal plate in his head. The second man required stitches to close a wound on his lip, reports Gay City News.
Despite admitting to committing the attacks on the two men and being at Holladay's attack -- and facing multiple felony charges at his arraignment -- Nicaj ended up with negligible jail time. The hate crime charge was dismissed by a woman in the apartment building who said that "faggot" was "just typical trash-talking," and another witness (who'd been smoking pot and hanging out in a car with Nicaj for eight hours before the assault) said Holladay started the fight by giving Nicaj the finger. Knowing Joe, we highly doubt that -- and even if it were true, a little bird action hardly justifies beating someone into a pool of blood on the street.
In a deal with the Manhattan district attorney, Nicaj pleaded guilty to the assaults and began his sentence on May 20. He was released on June 9, after accounting for time served and good behavior.
And that, math gurus, is just 21 days, counting both checking in and checking out. Even Lindsay is expected to serve at least 23 of her 90.
"It makes me sick to my stomach," said Holladay to Gay City News.
We feel pretty much the same way, Joe.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.