Nassau County detectives have arrested a 20-year-old Oregon man in connection with a gay-bias attack on a former Top Chef contestant and her friends outside a Sea Cliff bar over the Labor Day weekend.
Matthew W. Walli was charged with second-degree robbery as a hate crime for stealing a video camera from Josie Smith-Malave, a former contestant on Bravo’s TV reality show and a player on the New York Sharks woman’s football team. Police say Walli was part of a group of about a dozen people who attacked Smith-Malave and three friends after both parties were ejected from Partners bar on September 1 after a dispute.
“The altercation escalated when the group began spitting on them and physically hitting them after making derogatory statements about the four women’s sexual orientation,” Nassau County police said in a press release. “During the altercation, Walli forcibly stole a video camera from one of the four women causing her to fall and injure her knee.”
Walli was arrested on Wednesday and was awaiting arraignment in First District Court in Hempstead Thursday. The investigation is continuing, police said.