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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. As I have read here before:


    Posted by: bading | Dec 9, 2008 6:27:13 PM

  2. NOAH,

    venting your spleen at me might make you feel good, but it makes no never-mind. if we are to change minds, there are some "issues" we need to address. i am all about the future. the supreme court is safe. obama has taken the pragmatic (adult) path. good on him!

    but why is the black community so opossed to equal rights for the gay community? that and only that is my question. to smear me with accusations of bigotry and non-sequiturs is counterproductive. even now, we are fighting for our civil liberties. please, bato, i am mexican-american, as my friend DERRICK FROM PHILLY, pointed out. i have nothing to gain from inflaming racist hatred. and i use the tern "racist" judiciously, for research has shown that there is not a hair's-breadth of difference between races. indeed there are no "races". cultural diversity? yes. i welcome that. i want to know what it is like to be an asian american or a native american or an african american, but should you not want to know what it is like to be a latino in a hostile environment?

    a man by any other name will smell as sweet.

    DERRICK gets it. why can't you?

    Posted by: nic | Dec 9, 2008 8:06:17 PM


    Posted by: Superman | Dec 9, 2008 9:36:17 PM

  4. Patrick M hit the nail on the head with his comments about American unease with touch and physical proximity:

    "This is also about how fucking scared we are about 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."

    These guys could have been as black as they were -- but of a different culture -- and the same outcome would have occurred because they dared to display a different mode of human interaction other than the violent astringency so common in our society. Racial difference was the icing on the cake to these thugs who were so insistent on proving their "manhood" to each other.

    If you are looking to excuse this inexcusable behavior, then fine -- look at the color of their skin and what popular culture tells you about those people. However, there are quite a few people here who want to end such behavior; they look at a person's heart and head to combat such vicious ignorance with activism fully grounded in our common experiences as humans, male or female, gay or straight, regardless of physical features or place of origin. Hatred is a refuge for the weak, whether they are contributors to Towleroad or Stormfront.

    Posted by: Foochy | Dec 9, 2008 9:56:31 PM

  5. totally crazy. we're under are those how are perceived to be like us! While not every attack ends in death, it seems like LGBT people are attacked nearly every day. There is a new website that is posting all these news reports... at

    Posted by: notke | Dec 9, 2008 10:53:10 PM

  6. NIC - there is no black Community, there is no Latino Community, there is no gay Community. Community is just a media buzz word. Your heart may be in the right place, but your brain is undeveloped.

    Posted by: dave | Dec 10, 2008 4:52:39 AM

  7. Prop 8 finally let the gay white racism out of the bag.

    If the New Gay Order's new game is racializing Gay Rights and homophobia then people of color have a duty to hold white homosexuals accountable for all white homophobes.

    If "black homophobia" is the issue of the month, than gay racism shall be the next. I encourage all LGBT people of color to email the following links to every conservative/republican news site that you can. And if you have time, to other moderate/liberal media havens. Gay racism will go unchecked as long as its not challenged.

    Posted by: DMC | Dec 10, 2008 5:41:50 AM

  8. Here are some more links to email:

    Tips? Email to Foxnews, drudge, focus on the family, cnn etc.

    Posted by: DMC | Dec 10, 2008 5:51:39 AM

  9. Nic,

    I don't care if you are Mexican-American. That doesn't give you a get-out-of-being racist card. Mexico has a horrible history of racism from the past to the present. The brutal treatment of indigenous Mexicans is well documented. The black population is severely marginalized also.

    This is the United States. I don't want to play oppression Olympics with you. But, dude, you are pushing a racist line about African-Americans. When presented with facts that show Mexican and other Latin American engaging in deliberate anti-black racism in the U.S., you dismiss it. Why not just put your fingers in your ears and go "na na na na"?

    There are racists of all ethnicities in the U.S. You attempted to slander all African-Americans. So, screw you! Instead of discussing the horrible attack on Sucuzhañay brothers, you went off on a tangent to attack all African-Americans. You used no qualifiers. So, yeah, I think you're bigot. Deal with it.

    A few weeks ago, a group of Long Island white teenagers engaged in vicious attacks on immigrants from Latin America, resulting in the murder of an Ecuadorian man. Sound familiar?

    Posted by: noah | Dec 10, 2008 11:11:30 AM

  10. Check out the Global Pulse video on this, showing how different TV news around the world are covering the issue.

    Watch it here:

    I'm an intern with Link TV, the nonprofit that produces Global Pulse. Interesting to see how the rest of the world is reporting on the news.

    Posted by: Link TV | Dec 29, 2008 5:14:08 PM

  11. I couldn't believe that this had happened in my neighborhood!!! I live 3 blocks from the incident. My daughter and I read about it at the library!! A vigil was definitely good for the relatives of the victim and the community at large. WE CAN NOT LET THIS INVADE OUR NEIGHBORHOOD!!!!

    I lost my father to violence in Los Angeles several years back and trust me to deal with this pain and this horrible memory is pure HELL!
    But let the lord help ourselves and guide us the right way and hopefully one day we will embrace and love one another!!!

    Posted by: Chila Fabian | Feb 6, 2009 6:32:54 PM

  12. Violent crime is disproportionately committed by blacks against other races, as well as against themselves. Check FBI statistics. It's a fact. So, Nic has valid concerns.

    Posted by: Antoine | Feb 26, 2009 2:29:04 AM

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