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Surveillance Tape of Alleged NYC Corner Bistro Gay Bashing


Video evidence of the alleged gay bashing at Corner Bistro turned up on YouTube yesterday in the former of a surveillance tape which corresponds with the date and time BlackBook editor Nick Haramis says he was assaulted by the restaurant employee.

Here is Haramis' description of the incident, which I posted last week: "The recap: My boyfriend sat down at a four-top. A man—a busboy or a waiter, definitely not a host—told him that our group couldn’t sit down. 'You have to order food,' he said. 'We’ll start with fries,' said my boyfriend, not moving. The man then grabbed the back of his shirt, at which point I reached in, instinctively, to take his hand away. I was then thrown down, the side of my head the last thing to hit the ground. There was some confusion as my boyfriend tried to stop the whole thing, and was then punched in the face, while the Bistro worker screamed 'faggots' a few times, for good measure."

After viewing the tape several times, I was unable to see a moment where the employee grabbed Haramis' shirt, as he claims. What the tape does appear to show is Haramis acting first, grabbing the employee by the upper body or neck, before the employee strikes back.

Below, a sequence of frames of the incident, and the entire clip, AFTER THE JUMP...





Waatch the tape, AFTER THE JUMP...

The incident in question begins at about 40:25 on the restaurant tape, 1:!0 on the YouTube.

Man Claims Anti-Gay Assault by Staff of NYC's Corner Bistro [tr]
UPDATE: On the Corner Bistro Gay Bashing [tr]
(thanks, whit)

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  1. Tank, Shane, and the rest -

    Still think we were "blaming the victim?" Remember this incident the next time you guys trash people as for being skeptical.

    I can already hear the apologists for Nick typing furiously at their keyboards. The point here is not whether or not the waiter is a nice, pleasant person. The point is that Nick Haramis is a fucking liar. He assaulted that man, and he told us he didn't.

    Furthermore, he abused his position as a journalist to prey off our sympathy to try and hurt a local business when he was the aggressor. Pathetic.

    Posted by: Yeek | Feb 8, 2009 11:40:28 AM

  2. That is, of course, assuming that this actually is video of the Bistro Event.

    Nick - if you're reading this, it is time to respond with evidence of your own. Your original article stated:

    "The man then grabbed the back of his shirt, at which point I reached in, instinctively, to take his hand away."

    That's clearly what's not happening at 40:27, when the man in the video has the waiter by the throat. The waiter's hands are by his sides. If that's not you in the video, Nick Haramis, please speak up now.

    Posted by: Yeek | Feb 8, 2009 11:44:02 AM

  3. Interesting. First Mayor Sam Adams through "homophobia" around as the reason for the investigation into his alleged relationship with a minor, now there appears to be a discrepancy with Nick Haramis' accounts of an alleged homophobic attack in a YC restaurant. What the hell is going on people? Is the gay community collectively lashing out at the recent defeats such as the passing of Prop 8, or are some of our community using homophobia as an excuse to pardon their inappropriate behavior? I would hope that none of the above would be true. Take responsibility for your actions, and don't be a coward by claiming homophobia as an excuse, it merely insults those who have been victims and sets back our movement. Truly sad.

    Posted by: Cj | Feb 8, 2009 11:58:09 AM

  4. Following this whole pathetic story, I could only gather that this guy and his friends came in drunk, demanding a table, only ordering fries, etc, all on a busy night, giving the server tons of snotty attitude. In the video, look at the fingers he's stabbing at the guy before it erupts.

    Gays like this give us all a bad name. They cause this trouble, but suddenly they're victims of a hate crime because the word "faggot" was thrown. Uh, y'are, Blanche. Deal with it.

    Posted by: Desca | Feb 8, 2009 12:07:15 PM

  5. Just goes to show that you can't make stuff up nowadays and expect to get away with it. Video surveillance is everywhere. We ARE being watched--maybe not by Big Brother but definitely by someone. Time to start selling those tin-foil hats....

    Posted by: Peter Frank | Feb 8, 2009 12:07:52 PM

  6. Exactly Desca. Not to make any assumptions, but after watching the video (and from what a few other accounts have stated regarding the staff repeatedly asking Nick and his party to not put their drinks on a table that is reserved for dining customers, all the while after skipping through the wait list), Nick's account of the incident does not coincide with the footage. To be honest, I've seen more gay men through around attitude, at other people, at staff, and it's offensive. Why do so many (and not to generalize) gay men feel entitled to treat other people (especially other gay men) with disrespect and attitude? I stopped going out to Chelsea/Hell-sea bars a long time ago, it got old and I was tired of seeing so much attitude. Grow up guys, life's too short.

    Posted by: Cj | Feb 8, 2009 12:15:00 PM

  7. Watched vid a few times, and looked at freeze frames, and I still can't really tell what happened. No idea who started it based on this video. And even if this Nick guy did start it, I didn't see anything that seemed to justify the wrestler-style takedown, much less the anti-gay slurs.

    People who work in bars in NYC (or anywhere), have to deal with drunk and obnoxious patrons all the time. It's a real problem if they deal with them by throwing them on the ground and calling them faggots.

    That said, "journalists" should think really, really, really hard before using their public platform to pursue a personal vendetta. And if they do, they'd damn well better be scrupulously honest about how they portray the facts.

    Posted by: darbnyc | Feb 8, 2009 12:39:25 PM

  8. Nick is a prick (ask anyone who knows him) and an asshole liar on top of that. Nickie was drunk and acting like any pompous, arrogant, Chelsea homo who probably had just one too many dates with his girl Tina. It's bad enough that the GLBT community is experiencing an unprecedented wave of violence and backlash. It doesn't help when a brazen liar uses "homophobia" to excuse his own ignorant, racist behavior towards a Latino bus-boy. Go f*ck yourself, Nick. Oh, wait. I'm sorry. You do that every night because your "boyfriend" is too twinked to do so.

    Posted by: mike | Feb 8, 2009 12:47:33 PM

  9. Darbnyc,

    I agree with you in general. However, here it looks like Haramis actually grabbed the guy by the neck - I'm sorry, but getting thrown on the floor is an occupational hazard of strangling someone you just met.

    I'm sure the waiter is an asshole as well. I don't doubt that he called Haramis a faggot - I would have used a different word, but the sentiment would have come from the same place.

    But Haramis' transgression (and subsequent lies) seem much worse to me. The guy's a bully, and when he met someone who wouldn't take it he did what most bullies do: he took the route of the dishonorable coward.

    Posted by: Yeek | Feb 8, 2009 12:53:34 PM

  10. Yeek, you'll believe what you want to believe. It has very little to do with the truth at this point, as I couldn't see who started it, either. I defy you to. And who knows, it might have been edited by the person who released it. And it doesn't justify the ad hominems issued on this thread. I'm not defending anyone, but I'm not rushing, top speed to condemn haramis and dismiss his story.

    And let's be honest, the comments here--and your own, yeek--were far from merely "skeptical". Embarrassing, really.

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 8, 2009 1:24:42 PM

  11. The person who posted this video said he cut the first ten minutes out, too. I wonder what else he cut out. Further, what we have doesn't suggest that haramis "started it", as the guy who posted this video is adamently insisting.

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 8, 2009 1:39:40 PM

  12. 'adamently' even

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 8, 2009 1:42:48 PM

  13. I don't know anything about this story but just watched the video and I would say it is near impossible to tell based on the footage who grabbed who first. It seemed as evident to me that the kid put his hands up on the waiter in a defensive move before being shoved as it does him going after the waiter first. I would say the footage shows very little.

    No idea. I could buy either story frankly. However the altercation clearly stemmed from the fight over the use of the table, not from the guy being gay. If the guy yelled and called them faggots when he pushed the guy, that still is not what I'd call gay bashing. The altercation had nothing to do with them being gay, it seems clear it stemmed from a fight over the table. It doesn't excuse the use of the word but to me a gay bashing is when you beat someone simply for being gay.

    The most often we choose to use "gay bashing" in terms of any victim of a crime being gay, the less meaning it seems to really have.

    Posted by: Lucas | Feb 8, 2009 2:18:17 PM

  14. Gosh, Tank, maybe Bigfoot was in on it too.

    Posted by: Yeek | Feb 8, 2009 2:19:48 PM

  15. The people saying "this makes gays look bad" need to think about how ignorant that sounds.

    Posted by: KFLO | Feb 8, 2009 3:46:38 PM

  16. "Gays like this give us all a bad name. They cause this trouble, but suddenly they're victims of a hate crime because the word "faggot" was thrown. Uh, y'are, Blanche. Deal with it."

    Gays like this? Sheesh, DESCA, has Focus On My Anus got a job for you!! But seriously, I strongly recommend you seek professional help to clear up the self-loathing bile oozing from your pores.

    Posted by: JohnInManhattan | Feb 8, 2009 4:13:09 PM

  17. I've never eaten at the Corner Bistro despite living in NYC for nearly 20 years. I think it's time I patronized this place. I think it was done wrong by a little pill who cried wolf in a public forum simply because he thought he had the power to.

    Posted by: Bakely | Feb 8, 2009 4:51:51 PM

  18. Someone calling you a faggot while punching you in the face for trying to choke him is not a hate crime. Hate crime is about motivation. It seems fairly certain no matter what story you believe, this altercation was not motivated by anything related to sexual orientation. If we start making arguments that the slightest innuendo of bigotry equals a hate crime, it diminishes the purposes of hate crime legislation and makes people far less likely to give a damn about true hate crimes if they think people will just cry wolf everytime a gay person gets punched in the face, whether it was because they were gay or not. From the sound of it, this was simply a fight where some asshole yelled faggot in the midst of pushing someone he was mad at. It seems fairly clear it wasn't motivated by anyone's sexual orientation.

    I'm certainly not self-loathing but I tend to agree that gays are quick to send up the batman signal everytime a gay is involved in any crime before any facts are actually laid out to determine if the crime was motivated by any bias.

    Posted by: Sam | Feb 8, 2009 5:09:14 PM

  19. JohnInManhattan: you're right, I do hate gay men who are snotty bitch faggots, throwing shade and attitude, coming to a restaurant drunk and fucked up, jumping the line on a Friday night, taking a table that wasn't theirs, snapping at the busboy, and CLEARLY starting a physical fight. And then taking to the press to cry homophobia, when in fact they were vile, obnoxious assholes.

    Kiss my ass. I'm gay. But I have nothing in common with low-life obnoxious queens who abuse the help. Yes, they do give us a bad name. I'm trying to figure out why you're defending such rotten behavior, and why you seem to think I need help. I have no problem with the busboy calling these horrible jerks "faggots". He wouldn't have, if the prick didn't cause trouble, and move to put his hands on the guys neck during an argument. WTF.

    Larry Kramer wrote a novel called, "Faggots", all about stereotypes. Bravo to this guy for living up to this Mexican busboy's worst idea of gay people, prissy and demanding and demeaning. Total faggots. And go stuff it, Mary, get over your solidarity for obnoxious gays, clearly you are one.

    Posted by: Desca | Feb 8, 2009 6:06:33 PM

  20. THIS IS FUCKING UNBELIEVABLE, ok, some gay men who had an undeserved sense of entitlement were thrown out of a restaurant. BIG FUCKING DEAL!!! In the meantime, gay people are still being EXECUTED in Iran solely for being homosexual and you all are in a tizzy about this incident? Could anything be more indicative of the vapidity of the state of American gay life? No wonder Prop 8 passed. If this is the overriding issue in the gay community today, we are all doomed.

    Posted by: Bading | Feb 8, 2009 6:15:41 PM

  21. "this altercation was not motivated by anything related to sexual orientation."

    And you know this how?

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 8, 2009 6:32:56 PM

  22. Yeah, bading, this is the overriding issue in the "gay community" today... conditional, noted. It's overly dramatic tirades like that that disqualify your rant from making a point worth taking seriously.

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 8, 2009 6:35:51 PM

  23. LMAO@desca. You're a crackpot!

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 8, 2009 6:37:08 PM

  24. I was served by a gay waiter there a couple of times there. If they were anti-gay why would they hired a gay empolyee?

    Posted by: Jeffe | Feb 8, 2009 6:42:11 PM

  25. Tank, the number of posts you have on this thread reminds me of what a speck of dust must think. It is condemned to the realization that it will never be anything more than just that, A SPECK OF DUST.

    Posted by: bading | Feb 8, 2009 6:47:00 PM

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