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Brooklyn Man Dies as Result of Anti-Gay, Anti-Hispanic Assault

UPDATE: Jose Sucuzhañay, who had been on life support and in a coma since he and his brother were attacked with a bottle and an aluminum baseball bat in the early hours of Monday morning, has died: "The victim, Jose Osvaldo Sucuzhanay, the co-owner of Open Realty International, a real estate agency in Bushwick, was described by family members as a gentle, generous man, a father of two children who live with his parents in Azogues, Ecuador, his native town. He lived on Kossuth Place, in a building that is also home to his brother Diego and a sister, Blanca Naranjo. The victim’s girlfriend, Amada, arrived about six months ago and has been staying with Mr. Sucuzhanay."


Two Ecuadoran immigrant brothers, now named as Jose Sucuzhañay, 31, and Romel Sucuzhañay, were walking home arm-in-arm after a night of drinking in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn were attacked because they were perceived to be gay, police say, although anti-Hispanic slurs were also used during the assault:

NY Post: "The attackers were described as four black men riding in a burgundy sport utility vehicle. There were no arrests. Police said the attack occurred at about 3:30 a.m. Sunday in the Bushwick neighborhood as the brothers neared their home on foot. One attacker jumped out of the SUV, used the anti-gay slur, then smashed (Jose) over the head with a bottle. As (Romel) ran away, three other men exited the vehicle and joined the assault, police said. One hit the victim in the head with a bat while the others kicked him. At some point, (Romel) returned holding a cell phone and told the men he had called police. They then drove off together. The 31-year-old victim remained hospitalized Monday in critical condition..."

A more thorough report of the incident and the reactions now at the NYT.

BushwickABC7 reports that the brother who was beaten is basically clinging to life and the family, who lives in Ecuador, is trying to make the decision whether or not to take him off life support. A vigil is planned at the hospital tomorrow.

Said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn: "We believe all of this happened simply because of who these individuals are and who these perpetrators perceived them to be. For some reason (they) didn't like the two men they believed were gay ... and felt so emboldened in their hatred that they acted it out in violence."

Police are still searching for the assailants. Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-577-TIPS, by texting TIP577 to CRIMES, or by going to

Ecuadorian brothers beaten in Brooklyn - VIDEO [abc7]
Ecuadoran Dies From Attack That May Be Treated as Hate Crime [nyt]

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  1. Here is a horrible incident in which street slime decided they were going to beat people they saw as "less than" because they could! To further expand on the story, one brother placed a coat on the other brother as they left the club on that snowy night. One brother had his arm around the other. All of a sudden, BOOM! These lowlifes jump out of a car and beat them down.

    Sadly, this is another example of how much danger we in the gay/lesbian community face. As we see from this atrocity, even straight people can be attacked if their attackers THINK they are gay. When, oh, when will this ever stop?

    More to the point, this weekend, every gay or lesbian person in NYC should come out to the corner of Kossuth Place and Bushwick Avenue in Brooklyn, and say by our numbers that this is unacceptable, now and in the future.

    My prayers go out to the poor victims of this outrage, and to his family. May he recover quickly and fully.

    Posted by: Nathan James | Dec 8, 2008 7:31:00 PM

  2. Calling Mike Huckabee.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Dec 8, 2008 7:34:32 PM

  3. Nathan James,

    I think your idea is really good. Let's have a candlelight vigil at that corner this weekend. Everyone get on your phones/computers and let's see how many people we can get.

    Anyone with media expertise, let's get some camera crews. It may be that the only way the family finds out that we did this is to have it televised.

    Posted by: Jeremy | Dec 8, 2008 8:22:41 PM

  4. David E., I could not say it better. I hope Huckabee is happy. NOW can we have civil equality Mr Huckabee or do more people have to have their head's bashed in?

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Dec 8, 2008 8:35:57 PM

  5. God damn, I was in a great mood and now this news. Excuse my french but Christ this shit has GOT to stop. I wish I could state how shocked I am but after what I have personally experienced in my life (having been attacked in college) and what my friends and others have been through, we are being fought in every circle. It's time to stop playing Mr Nice Gay in-fucking-deed.

    Posted by: CJ | Dec 8, 2008 9:11:17 PM

  6. Good luck with the vigil. This is a horrible story and only further proves what Huckabee is trying to pretend does not exist.

    Posted by: KFLO | Dec 8, 2008 9:16:19 PM

  7. I feel saddened for the young Ecuadorian man and his family.

    Posted by: Puddy Katz | Dec 8, 2008 9:42:11 PM

  8. I feel saddened for the young Ecuadorian man and his family.

    Posted by: Puddy Katz | Dec 8, 2008 9:42:32 PM

  9. I am in the initial stages of organizing a vigil for this weekend at Kossuth Pl. and Bushwick Ave. to show our outrage at this atrocity. I will post more here at Towleroad and everywhere else as things develop.

    Posted by: Nathan James | Dec 8, 2008 10:25:16 PM

  10. This is REVOLTING! I'm so sick of reading these stories. I'm racking my head about how I , one person, can make this world a little better. I'm blogging and that helps, I just signed up to volunteer at the Center and that's helping--BUT when I see this kind of stuff in BROOKLYN, I just feel deflated. We live with DEMONS. That's the only adjective I can find to describe people who would do something like this. It took four men lurking in an SUV with a fucking bat to attack these two defenseless brothers. Maybe COWARDS would be another adjective.

    Posted by: Gay Power Living | Dec 8, 2008 10:29:37 PM

  11. This is so horrible. My heart goes out to that poor young man and his family.

    Posted by: soulbrotha | Dec 8, 2008 10:35:17 PM

  12. Heartbreaking.

    Because they didn't have the body language and behavior of "thugs" on the street, one of them gets beaten by a bunch of thugs.

    Posted by: Andy | Dec 8, 2008 10:57:58 PM

  13. This is also about how fucking scared we are abou touching each other in this culture. Two brothers are walking arm in arm which is completely normal and easy in their home country, as well as in a bunch of other countries that we consider traditional and "backward" in Latin America, Europe and the Middle East.

    In this country, idiots perceive just the fact of them touching as them being gay, and beat them up for that.

    This is a chilling message for everyone, straight or gay, and very disturbing about how far we in this supposedly sophisticated society are from being comfortable with just plain simple normal touch between two people in everyday life.

    Posted by: Patrick M | Dec 8, 2008 11:28:59 PM

  14. Sadly those of Mike Huckabee's ilk will again find some way to disregard this event. I for one wouldn't mind a little beat down on him and that pussy Chuck Norris.

    Posted by: Marc C | Dec 8, 2008 11:59:10 PM

  15. Let me know when and exactly where the vigil will be and I will be there! This is a shame and my prayers are with this man and his family

    Posted by: mikey d | Dec 9, 2008 1:22:02 AM

  16. crazy comes in all colors. call me a bigot or call me a racist, but i do not see brown on black violence as much as i see black on brown violence. and don't even get me started on black on gay violence. there is a reason that blacks disdain other minorities. but what is that reason? is it religion? is it retribution? is it envy?

    no one has proffered an explanation as to why blacks voted overwhelmingly against prop 8. spare me, please, the nonsense about why blacks, by dint of their numbers, had little impact on the outcome. the fact remains that 70% voted against us. why is that?

    i am sick and tired of people blaming the "no on 8" campaign for not reaching out to the blacks. was it wrong for them to assume that one oppressed minority might support another? why should they have spent time and money on outreach to a minority who should've been on our side to begin with?

    whatshisname diaz is latino, not black, although clearly black. barack, though half white/half kenyan and raised by whites is african-american. you cannot pick and choose your heroes and your demons. that is a tactic of the right.

    perhaps, once cleared of the bullshit, we can have an adult conversation about prejudice. right now, i am pondering the absurdity of sub-humans attacking brothers who were taking care of each other, as is their custom, simply because they were brown and presumed to be gay. that makes no sense, and it makes me cry.

    Posted by: nic | Dec 9, 2008 6:19:56 AM

  17. I am sickened by this incident. I am outraged but not at all surprised. This shit really has to stop. NIC, WTF does this incident have to do with Prop 8 in any way, shape or form? Gay bashing has gone on long before Prop 8 became a national issue. Good luck to those of you that will attend the vigil. My heart goes out to the victims and their families.

    Posted by: Island Girly | Dec 9, 2008 7:56:16 AM

  18. Way to go, NIC ...

    ... in a thread decrying hate, you manage to add a dash. *sigh*

    Posted by: Taylor Siluwé | Dec 9, 2008 8:46:22 AM

  19. NIC... it wasn't the blacks that voted for Prop-8, it was their religion!
    And religious beliefs regarding homosexuality are exactly what fuel sub-human gay bashers.
    Keep your eye on the ball!

    Posted by: hangten | Dec 9, 2008 9:09:38 AM

  20. And that is exactly why many of us no longer bother to read the idiocy that parages under the comments of nic. Vile and off-topic sums up his "contributions".

    Posted by: rudy | Dec 9, 2008 9:18:56 AM

  21. There's no such thing as "the blacks."

    One of the biggest problems with this whole "conversation" has been this idea that these two categories--gay and black--are exclusive and total. THE blacks vs. THE gays, seems to be what Nic and his fellows are trying to push.

    Did African Americans, as a group, tend to vote for Prop 8? Yes. But, that tells us nothing about individual blacks. Likewise, Latinos, as a group, tended to vote against gay people. However, there were also members of those two groups that voted for us, and there are members of those groups who ARE US.

    The problem? The churches.

    Posted by: MAJeff | Dec 9, 2008 9:25:56 AM

  22. Hold the Becket Fund responsible for inciting violence through its full page ad. Go to, click on "Tell us your story", and copy and paste this article.

    Posted by: Olive Yurdich | Dec 9, 2008 9:29:34 AM

  23. Nic, yes, you ARE a flaming racist asshole. There are WAY MORE reports posted on this blog and in the general media about "the whites" attacking "the gays", fuck you very much. And no one is going down the Prop 8 path again. That lame argument has been proven to be bullshit several times over.
    I really hope that Towleroad readers will ignore your ignorant ass and keep this focused on the tragedy of this man clinging to life.

    Posted by: Q | Dec 9, 2008 10:19:19 AM

  24. After 50 years, I still can't understand what it is that savage cowards hope to accomplish by attacking defenseless people. Is it just the thrill of destroying another human being's body or his life? Is it trying to send a message to "others" that you hate them--and frighten them?

    Well, the idiots know now that the Ecuadorean brothers were not even gay. If it's Latinos they hate, then they're fighting a stupid loosing battle against the future.

    So what was the point of your violence, you filthy cowards?

    Well, hopefully your cowardly asses will still be in jail 10 years from now when you're deciding which way to seek salvation? Christianity or Islam? Fortunately, I don't think God forgives evil brutality as easily as some folks believe.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Dec 9, 2008 10:54:27 AM

  25. It's just been reported on the news that he has died.

    Condolences to the family.

    Posted by: Q | Dec 9, 2008 12:07:28 PM

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