Originally thought to be a hate crime, the late-night beating of Damian Furtch, 26, at a West Village McDonald’s, has taken a Law & Order-style twist, with the attacker, Anthony Bray, now saying he’s gay too. The punches, which were captured on tape, were because Furtch “disrespected” him, Bray said. “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,” said Furtch, the victim, in a statement. “I look forward to the criminal trial where all of the accurate details will come out.”
An anonymous police source is quoted as saying, “It may come down to just two guys having a fistfight,” though the images that Furtch posted on Facebook of his wounds have resonated worldwide.
“They were saying, ya know, you f’ing f—-t, and things like that,” Furtch said at the time, citing his brightly colored hat and pink shoelaces as what helped trigger the attack. “It’s an awkward feeling, you want to feel like you can walk outside and choose to wear whatever you want, choose to be whoever you are. I hate to say it, but apparently it’s not safe,” he said.
Just weeks prior, the Williamsburg beating of Barie Shortell came with anti-gay slurs as well. Shortell talked to Runnin’ Scared about his ordeal and the necessity of speaking openly about crimes of that nature.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 4, 2011