A local journalist has suffered brain injuries and remains in intensive care after being viciously attacked near his home earlier this month. Just before 4 a.m. on Friday, January 17, theater critic and journalist Randy Gener was on his way to his apartment from the opening night of a play, walking on Seventh Avenue between 54th and 55th streets. Just steps from his home, Gener was attacked and beaten. He was found a short while later, bloody and unconscious.
Gener has previously written about theater for the Village Voice, as well as the New York Daily News, the New York Times, NPR, New York, and a couple dozen other big-name media outlets. He’s also gay and Filipino; the NYPD has announced they are investigating the attack as a possible hate crime. A friend told CBS that the attackers didn’t steal his wallet. The NYPD told Pix11 that a witness may have seen a Hispanic man punch Gener in the head and flee in a silver four-door car.
Last night, Gener’s husband, Stephen Nesbit, along with the rest of his family and friends held a candlelight vigil in his honor; the organizers wrote, in part, “We, as New Yorkers, demand an end to hate violence in our city. We as LGBTQ folks, Filipino Americans, people of color, and allies want to feel safe on our streets again.” Tonight, the Fil-Am Press Club of New York and the Philippine Consulate General of New York will hold a prayer rally for Gener, who is one of their members, at the Philippine Center on 5th Avenue.
Gener’s friend David Diamond wrote on the candelight vigil’s Facebook page that Gener sustained most of the damage on the left side of his skull, and has undergone at least two operations so far. He is able to talk a little and recognizes his family. He retains some of his long-term memory, but has no recollection of the attack. He remains in the ICU and cannot accept visitors.
Gener’s friends have set up a fundraising page to cover his medical costs, which to date has raised more than $30,000. The NYPD asks that anyone with information about the attack to call 800-577-TIPS.
Update, 1:30 p.m.:
The NYPD has released a sketch of Gener’s suspected attacker, who according to CBS they describe as a Hispanic male in his 20s, approximately 6 feet tall and about 160 pounds with short black hair, last seen wearing black jeans and a black jacket.
Broadway World reports that anyone with information on the case is now asked to call Detective Enis, 18th Precinct, at (212) 767-8400. Callers should reference Case File #485.
Here’s the sketch: