Our colleague Michael Feingold told us some very bad news today: a former Voice sales rep, Joe Holladay, in town on business, was jumped and beaten Saturday morning by a group of men who called him a faggot.
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.”
Jerome says neighbors in the building told him, and the police, that they saw a group of five or six young white men “with crewcuts, wearing wife-beaters” smoking pot outside the building just before the incident — and, drawn to their window by the noise when the beating occurred, heard the anti-gay epithets and saw the young men pile into a car and drive away.
(More, plus updates, below the fold…)
“They even identified the make and model,” says Holladay. “A gold Subaru older model station wagon. They clearly saw what happened.” (The witnesses have not returned our calls.)
Holladay says his doctor told him his injuries suggest he was hit with a blunt object. “The mark on my forehead looks like it was made by the base of a gun,” he says.
Holladay has since been released from the hospital, and is convalescing at Jerome’s. Both he and Jerome say they’ve been to the 19th Precinct to follow up on their case, which they characterize as a hate crime, but were told the case has been closed. (Holladay says he argued heatedly with the officers there, and was told that he would be arrested if he kept it up.)
An NYPD Public Information Unit officer tells us that Holladay’s case is indeed closed*, though “there’s no indication in here as to why it’s closed.“ He said he’d call us back with details when he finds them; we’re still waiting. (*We heard back; the case is open; see update below.)
Holladay says he’s been leaving messages with various GLBT advocate groups, and has reached a few, but not many: “Everyone’s at the [Pride] march.”
Update: State senator Tom Duane’s office informs us that after getting Holladay’s call this morning, “members of the staff immediately reached out to NYC Anti-Violence Project, NYPD LGBT liaison Tim Duffy, [assemblymember] Micah Kellner because it was his district, and Speaker Quinn’s office.”
Update 2: Detective Martin Speechley of the NYPD’s Public Information Unit got back to us to say the case is not closed, but “closed to patrol” — meaning, he says, it’s been “kicked upstairs to the detective squad,” who should contact the victim within the next few days. He doesn’t see the description of the getaway vehicle on the standard report, but assumes it’s in the case folder with the detectives.
Update 3: Holladay tells us he and witnesses have been interviewed by NYPD detectives. Also, to be clear, by “his” physician we mean Halloway’s attending MD at the New York Presbyterian ER.