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Man Beaten in Anti-Gay Assault in NYC's West Village


Police are looking for two men in connection with an anti-gay hate crime that occurred over the weekend in NYC's West Village, blogger Steph Watts reports:

"26 year old Damian Furtch was on his way home from work at a restaurant late Sat night (Sunday morning), when he stopped off at a McDonalds in NYC’s West Village ( a predominantly gay area) to get some food. It was approx. 4:30 am. While inside the restaurant Damian noticed 2 men staring at him – giving him 'looks' – we have all been there, we know what this feels like. It was late, Damian was tired, he felt uncomfortable and he didn’t want any trouble so he left. He was across the street, walking away while on the phone to a friend when the 2 men from McDonalds approached him and asked him 'if he had a problem' before he knew it he was punched in the face by one man, then instantly felt another punch by the second perp, and then he heard it – 'You F**king Faggot, the words as hurtful as the punches."

"One of the perps has a huge tattoo of a gothic cross under his left was approximately 2 inches," according to Watts, and police are reportedly looking at surveillance tape from McDonald's.

Furtch posted photos labeled "Gay Bash" of his bruised and stitched up face on Facebook.


Just terrible. We wish Damian the best in his recovery and efforts to bring the attackers to justice.

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  1. jesus christ, some f'ing A-holes lurking in a gay enclave looking to beat down the first defenseless gay they see? foul and pathetic. i hope they find those b!tches.

    Posted by: redball | Mar 28, 2011 10:40:41 AM

  2. This is terrible.

    Surely, McDonald's has a video security record of its customers who were on site prior to this assault. This record should assist law enforcement with apprehension of these felons.

    Posted by: Tony | Mar 28, 2011 10:40:49 AM

  3. Bash Back.....Bitches.

    Posted by: Mikey Mugglesworth | Mar 28, 2011 10:41:17 AM

  4. What happened was horrible and I feel for Damian. We need to learn how to be safe. It doesn't matter where you live. A homophobic gargoyle can attack you at any time. I wish Damian the best, and may he survive this challenge.

    Posted by: Sarina | Mar 28, 2011 10:41:26 AM

  5. NOT ON OUR TURF (i mean seriously shouldn't be anywhere but are we no longer safe in the gay ghettos ??

    Posted by: Paul | Mar 28, 2011 10:42:48 AM

  6. Mikey (above) makes a valid point.

    Perhaps it's time for some "Take Back the Village" militancy mentality.

    Posted by: Dave | Mar 28, 2011 10:50:49 AM

  7. To all gay people out there who choose not to actively support gay rights, because they believe being gay does not define who they are, take a look at this man's face. Remember that there are people in this world, no matter how much money you have or success you achieve, that don't give a damn how you choose to define yourself, because in their minds you'll always be a faggot.

    Posted by: Frank | Mar 28, 2011 10:54:57 AM

  8. "our turf"? i hate to break the news, but the west village (with the exception of a couple of seedy establishments on christopher street) hasn't been a gay ghetto for a very long time. it's now the playground of the haute bourgeoisie and sarah-jessica-parker wannabes on their desperate crusade to find an investment banker husband.

    Posted by: architectinberlin | Mar 28, 2011 10:56:37 AM

  9. I agree with Mikey and Dave. I took self-defense classes for gay men and lesbians years ago, offered by a wonderful group called SAFE (Safety and Fitness Exchange), which no longer exists. I need to find a place to re-fresh my fighting-back skills.

    Posted by: MichaelJ | Mar 28, 2011 11:01:34 AM

  10. This is why, as a war veteran, I have a conceled weapons license. I carry a 9mm semi-automatic pistol and only use hollow point rounds. It will take the back of your head off if that's where I choose to shoot. More likely, if I am attacked, I will shoot at your penis. That's where it's hurts the most. in more ways than 1. Can you imagine some punk telling someone that he got his junk shot off but some faggot! Too funny! But in all seriousness though, it's time we start protecting ourselves. Get yourself a gun, learn how to shoot it and don't be affraid to use it. It might be that I am comfortable carrying, because I am a sharpshooter, and I will not hesitate to put a cap in someones ass, more likely right between the eyes. But we all have to take care of ourselves. Drastic times calls for drastics measures! Hey, I have an idea, lets put those 2nd Amendment Rights to some good use.

    Posted by: Randy | Mar 28, 2011 11:09:26 AM

  11. Aikido - "Aikido is performed by blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it head-on. This requires very little physical strength, as the aikidōka (aikido practitioner) "leads" the attacker's momentum using entering and turning movements."

    I don't know it myself, but I'm thinking I should learn.

    Posted by: ravewulf | Mar 28, 2011 11:21:20 AM

  12. Also, whether West Village is predominantly gay or not, that doesn't mean these attackers are from there. Just like the Stonewall hate crime, it was career criminals from Staten Island who committed the act. These men most likely aren't from the area and decided to go into West Village either to create trouble or looking for it.

    The thing about New York city is, although it is generally an accepting place, it's a melting pot, and there are a lot of rough areas. And people who are not hipsters, they don't have money, they aren't gay or gay accepting, they are thugs, they are douchebags with tattoos of a cross on their face, they are career criminals, and they commit most of the crimes. Not much different than the story a couple of weeks ago of the young man beaten by "thugs" (read: ghetto and trashy) in Westhampton. Don't think that just because you are in a relatively decent area that these bigots can't and won't just head on over to these areas and cause problems. Especially in NYC. You're not really safe anywhere in NYC, it's a dangerous city. These punks do it and they will continue to do it, until there is a strong uprising to prevent it and protect the people living in these areas.

    My thoughts go out to Damien for what he has been through. Hopefully this last spate of hate crimes in NYC sends a strong message that more has to be done to protect the gays living there.

    Posted by: Francis | Mar 28, 2011 11:21:49 AM

  13. It's not legal to brandish a weapon in self-defense in NY. Carrying a concealed weapon can get you serious jail time.

    The West Village has bad sections, particularly along Christopher St.

    Go in groups through bad areas and keep your cell phone on.

    Posted by: anon | Mar 28, 2011 11:27:47 AM

  14. That McDonald's is on 6th Ave it is not a very safe stretch and it is predominately straight now. And most people hanging out along that stretch of 6th are not Manhattan residents.

    Posted by: Manhattanvince | Mar 28, 2011 11:38:35 AM

  15. I do believe obviously in defending yourself in the case of a hate crime, but the thing is, hate crimes shouldn't be happening in the first place. Especially in NYC. And when it's the same profile of people doing these hate crimes (generally lower-income/ghetto, career criminals types, gang violence, between teenage-30 yrs old), then obviously what needs to be done is to prevent this from happening in the first place. The whole fight or flight scenario should never even come into context because no-one should ever be in this sort of situation.

    I mean, there is a story of a Muslim man beaten in broad daylight by 4 black youth in NYC that just came out. And Jewish centers in NYC have been receiving bomb threats regularly. A lot of people believe that NYC is ultra tolerant and accepting, but hate is everywhere, and there are a lot of disaffected angry poor people in NYC who walk the streets. It's about preventing the problem from ever occurring, rather than just attacking attackers.

    Posted by: Francis | Mar 28, 2011 11:40:13 AM

  16. Just came out *last year*. That hate crime was last year. But, last year, this year, any year, hate is always going to be there. Stop the hate crimes? Gotta stop the hate.

    Posted by: Francis | Mar 28, 2011 11:42:21 AM

  17. If you don't know how to defend yourself, or better yet, if you have never been in a fight as an adult, you should take a look at doing a course in self-defense. Being fierce and strong in your head, and working out 5 times a week, doesn't translate into you not getting your butt kicked if you get jumped.

    Iaido Kendo Club (212) 807-7336 110 W 14th St, New
    NY // Aikikai Limited (212) 242-6246 142 W 18th St, #2 //
    Aikido Kokikai (646) 390-0222 250 W 26th St //
    Kuntaw Martial Arts (347) 585-0088 753 Flatbush Ave //
    Fighthouse (212) 807-9202 107 Chambers St //
    Dojo (212) 505-8934 14 W 4th St //
    Eizan Ryu Jujitsu (212) 260-0927 3 W 29th St, #214

    Sending love from HOLLYWOOD!

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Mar 28, 2011 12:11:47 PM

  18. I would think that someone with such a recognizable tattoo would avoid this sort of thing. I guess criminals often aren't too bright. Perhaps if Mr. Furtch posted a sketch of the victims tattoo then the perps might be apprehended.

    Posted by: Charlie | Mar 28, 2011 12:12:18 PM

  19. The closest McDonald's to Christopher Street is on 4th Street and 6th Avenue. It's very close to NYU's campus. Back in the 90's I saw some undergraduates get threatened with murder three times for same-sex kissing. It was Halloween night so that the Village was full of people who didn't live there.

    The man making the threats was an African American and, presumably, poor. The NYU student body is, by and large, affluent to wealthy.

    Posted by: Frank | Mar 28, 2011 12:27:25 PM

  20. I hope the videotape will help but I'm not sure. I got mugged in San Francisco in October and the subway where I was attacked on departure, as well as Safeway, gas stations, and other places where my credit cards were used refused to put staff time into tracking down the tapes they all had for the police even though I could provide the amounts and times of use.

    I was choked and dragged 20 feet until I went unconscious, then everything on me was taken--quite a lot of stuff. Initially the police were great and made it sound like they were really going to nail the guy. Then the Giants won the World Series and they said they couldn't focus on the case and needed a secondary witness (??) to confirm that I'd been mugged, despite my windpipe nearly have been smashed and a huge bump on my head. If the police can't (or more likely, don't bother to) obtain clear evidence, I have low hopes for all of us. And I don't even wear fluorescent clothing. I'm also over 6 feet and reasonably built. It can happen to anyone.

    My only consolation is that I wasn't stabbed.

    Posted by: Paul R | Mar 28, 2011 1:02:35 PM

    Ty's, Henrietta Hudson, The Cubbyhole, Marie's Crisis, Julius, The Hanger, The Duplex and


    The Monster

    The Stonewall

    Posted by: reality 101 | Mar 28, 2011 1:31:37 PM

  22. NYC folks:

    (Regrets if this becomes a second post, but posting on this site is a real hassle: first posts seldom post and second, direct links can not be embedded. Andy, it would be helpful to those that truly like and respect your site to completely overhaul the commenting mechanics.)

    Posted by: dave02657 | Mar 28, 2011 2:53:24 PM

  23. A more complete picture of how the situation is on the ground, who to watch out for, etc., would go a long way in helping the more naive among us from getting jumped, beaten up, even killed. Especially tourists and non-natives. Of course, this isn't going to happen; it would be hateful and hurt feelings.

    It might surprise some to know Manhattan has housing projects all over, even very close to cool, 'hip' neighborhoods. These projects are filled with 'people' who see ALL college-looking individuals, 'hip' looking individuals, businessmen and women, obvious out of towners and tourist, as targets. ESPECIALLY whites and Asians, but also anyone else who fits the above descriptions.

    'Outsiders' also come into the city [Manhattan] specifically to jump people, especially on weekends, during 'festivals' etc., They mix with the local 'thugs' which always results in violence.

    There you go. Read between the lines folks. Because the whole truth is rarely reported in the media.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Mar 28, 2011 3:02:57 PM

  24. I sometimes disagree with you Ratbastard but I am in agreement with you here, except as I've said before, I don't think this is solely a race issue, because there have been white dudes committing hate crimes in NYC as well. It's mostly a class thing. Most hate crimes in NYC statistically are committed by individuals who are lower-class/poor. Many/most are committed by those with prior criminal records. A large portion of these kids have no families, or families who are completely removed from their lives and unknowing/out of control of what they are doing.

    We already know who to watch out for. The profile for those who are committing these hate crimes is pretty similar every time. Hate crimes and violent crime in general have risen in NYC, and all of this is because little to nothing has been done to clean up the bad areas in the city. NYC is a melting pot, and right now there are clearly some clashes between certain cultures and areas that are leading to innocents being attacked. All New Yorkers need to get serious to fix this problem and take back the streets.

    Posted by: Francis | Mar 28, 2011 5:14:43 PM

  25. Gay people need to stop begging to be assimilated and demand to be respected. I don't know what happened to gay liberation, but there is none unless we are ready to fight for our space on the planet. We need to accept that we are different in ways worth standing up for.

    Posted by: Mark Walsh | Mar 28, 2011 5:26:28 PM

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