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Neighbor/Bar Regular Stops Perpetrator After Tragic Gay Bar Murder


Yesterday I posted about a killing outside Nasty D's gay bar in Rochester, New York following a reported argument inside the bar. Details on the argument remain slim, but some other details about what happened in the parking lot where Sandra Arena got in her car and ran over five people, killing a young man, have emerged.

RochestrehomicideThe murder victim is Chad Coleman, an aspiring singer who once auditioned for American Idol. Friends described him as "a phenomenal singer."

Sometime early Wednesday morning, Arena got in her car in the parking lot outside Nasty D's and plowed into a group of people, injuring four and killing Coleman.

Karen Anne Bills (whom our tipster suggests may possibly be transgender) heard the commotion from across the street where she lives, and walked over to the parking lot with a cane and and an axe. She says she had to take action:

"The only thing I can think to do is somebody's got to stop this woman so I planted the ax in the windshield that got her attention. And at that point I told her don't move, don't move, you're mine if you do...All she did was look at me and said well somebody hit me. I don't know what possessed the woman I don't."

Watch a news clip, AFTER THE JUMP...

More on Bills from the Democrat and Chronicle: "While Karen Anne Bills was watching a late-night, televised Bible study on cable early Wednesday, 22-year-old Chad Coleman was singing karaoke at Nasty D's Bar & Grill down the block at Alexander Street and Broadway. Their paths crossed about 1:45 a.m. when Bills heard a commotion in the parking lot across from her house, at Averill Avenue and Broadway. Bills said she picked up an ax by her back door and crossed Broadway to see what was going on. She heard screams and the thud of bodies striking the pavement. She dialed 911 and moments later put herself in front of the vehicle that had struck Coleman, of Greece, and four other people. She smashed the ax into the car's windshield in an attempt to stop the driver from hurting more people, she says. 'There was nothing we could do. Nothing,' said Bills, a regular at Nasty D's. 'He was a sweet boy, with a voice like an angel.'"

Below, an image from the vigil held last night at the site. More here.

Watch a WHEC news segment on the incident, AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. You go girl!

    Posted by: HotStuff | Aug 14, 2008 9:56:55 AM

  2. Sad ending for a talented young man. Everytime it's painful to see so much violence in our country every day. If it isn't guns, it's automobiles--any way to kill.

    And for those of you who are always complaining, "...why must transgender people be associated with gay people?"

    Well, try to remember the name Karen Anne Bills, and then hush your simple mouth.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Aug 14, 2008 10:37:04 AM

  3. What a horrible situation, but who wouldn't love a christian tranny with an axe? And walking with a cane no less...

    Posted by: Mark | Aug 14, 2008 10:49:11 AM

  4. An axe? Hot damn, that bitch don't mess around!

    Posted by: NaughtyLola | Aug 14, 2008 10:55:24 AM

  5. Such a sad story, but what an incredible woman.

    Posted by: Marco | Aug 14, 2008 10:55:46 AM

  6. Oh, and what Derrick said.

    Posted by: Marco | Aug 14, 2008 10:58:17 AM

  7. god bless them all. i happen to know many of the people involved in this tragedy. may chad rest in peace.

    but i will say this, you cannot make this up. it is like some wild made for tv movie. nasty d's, woman running down a crowd of people, a tranny with a cane and an axe...what next will unfold.

    Posted by: charlie | Aug 14, 2008 11:54:49 AM

  8. Maybe I am not being thorough enough but a news search shows that even the outlets that talk about the incident don't talk about this amazing woman.

    Posted by: SJ | Aug 14, 2008 12:10:56 PM

  9. T-Girls Don't Play!

    Posted by: Pierre | Aug 14, 2008 1:11:52 PM

  10. alls i know is that you do not want to mess around with a trannie with an ax.


    Posted by: tofer david | Aug 14, 2008 2:53:01 PM

  11. I've talked with Karen Anne several times. When she's in town, she hangs out at the bar downstairs at East of Eighth. Very interesting life story.

    Posted by: Mark (another one) | Aug 14, 2008 4:12:02 PM

  12. That "T" in GLBT isn't looking so bad anymore is it? This is a prime example of why we should continue to be inclusive of the transgendered community. They are fighters through and through. Karen Anne Bills likely saved lives that evening. Frankly, I want somebody on my side who can stop a car with an axe.

    Oh...and this "possibly be transgender" -- come on

    Posted by: Steven W. | Aug 14, 2008 5:00:34 PM

  13. Rochester is know as a very open and accepting community with many bars welcoming of gay patron. It is especially sad when someone from our own community murders one of our own, and outside a gay bar. We have heard too often of someone taking the life of a gay person. But not gays attacking gays. It's a sad day in Rochester. It's a sad day for everyone.

    Posted by: Shawn | Aug 14, 2008 9:43:54 PM

  14. Shawn, is there reason to believe either the murderer or the victim were gay... I saw no mention of that in the story. I wasn`t sure whether the attacker knew the victim or might be violently homophobic or was just generally deranged.

    Posted by: GregV | Aug 14, 2008 10:36:45 PM

  15. I think the murder victim was gay. I don't think the woman who hit him was. I thought it started in the bar.

    Posted by: TylerAnthony | Aug 19, 2008 9:53:45 AM

  16. the bar, nasty d's is in fact a gay bar. it is like cheers actually.

    both were gay.

    Posted by: tofer david | Aug 21, 2008 7:47:50 PM


    Posted by: Selenaq\ | Sep 4, 2008 10:42:13 PM

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