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.


  1. redball says

    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.

  2. Tony says

    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.

  3. Sarina says

    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.

  4. Paul says

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

  5. Dave says

    Mikey (above) makes a valid point.

    Perhaps it’s time for some “Take Back the Village” militancy mentality.

  6. Frank says

    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.

  7. architectinberlin says

    “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.

  8. MichaelJ says

    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.

  9. Randy says

    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.

  10. ravewulf says

    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.

  11. Francis says

    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.

  12. anon says

    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.

  13. Manhattanvince says

    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.

  14. Francis says

    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.

  15. Francis says

    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.

  16. Hollywood, CA says

    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!

  17. Charlie says

    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.

  18. Frank says

    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.

  19. Paul R says

    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.

  20. dave02657 says

    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.)

  21. ratbastard says

    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.

  22. Francis says

    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.

  23. Mark Walsh says

    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.

  24. ratbastard says


    I don’t think it’s strictly about race and I know whites gay bash. That said, NYC and pretty much all American urban areas are top heavy ‘minority’. Most violent crime in general in NYC and other American cities is committed my ‘minority’ males, especially ‘youths’. The projects in Manhattan [and NYC in general, as is the case in all American cities] are overwhelmingly ‘minority’, and neighborhoods that surround these projects have violent crime that’s strongly associated with the projects. Finally, most VIOLENT crime in America [especially gun related], both numerically and proportionately, occurs in cities and urban areas, not suburbs or rural areas.

  25. Francis says

    I disagree about “most” violent crime in big cities being committed by minorities. It is a disproportionate amount, but not most. With that said, I do agree that urban/low-income areas are disproportionately made up of minority citizens, for a few reasons, and that most crimes happen in the heart of cities and urban areas. And it’s obviously true that the atmosphere of the projects does seep itself in to less naturally violent areas in NYC. I don’t think it should be made into a minority thing, because it isn’t. It’s a cultural thing that hasn’t been addressed whatsoever and has been allowed to basically grow into the major issue it is today.

  26. Xtab says

    I don’t think self-defense classes are a very good idea. They’re expensive, you’re guaranteed to get injured, and they’re generally not very effective at stopping hardened criminals from beating you senseless. It doesn’t matter how tough you think you are after taking one, odds are there’s someone out there who’s tougher, meaner, and crazier; especially someone willing to deploy indiscriminate violence, particularly the kind of people who get two-inch facial tattoos of Christian symbols on their face.

    Situational awareness goes a lot further. People don’t want to hear it, but it’s generally not a good idea to walk around an urban area at 4:30 a.m. in clothes that accentuate your sexuality. That’s not blaming the victim. It’s about avoiding attacks. It’s not blaming the victim, and it’s not sexist, to suggest that women should not walk around alone at that hour in sexually-revealing outfits. It’d be nice if we lived in an idealistic world where it didn’t matter, but we don’t.

    Unfortunately it looked like he didn’t have a choice. He was getting off work where he was required to dress that way. Maybe others who work in gay restaurants and clubs who have to walk home late at night should consider bringing a change of clothes. There’s work clothes and then there’s “street” clothes, which are determined by the rules of the street. Follow them.

  27. ratbastard says


    Sorry, MOST violent crime in NYC and other urban American areas are committed by black males and/or ‘minority’ males. The NYC police commissioner publicly admitted in 2008 that whites were identified as responsible for 2% of gun related crimes and shooting in NYC the previous year. Google homicide map for any large U.S. city. Google FBI and DOJ crime statistics. And as hard as this is to believe, in the U.S. as a whole, the FBI identified black males as the perp 51% of the time in murders. That figure in just urban areas is much higher. 6% of the U.S. population [black U.S. population is 13%, males are the minority gender by 1%] committed 51% of murders in the U.S., and much higher percentage in big cities like NY. How does this manage to fly below the radar screen? I know, do you?

    I would also add there are many ‘poor’ or disadvantaged people who don’t turn their neighborhoods and whole cities into sh*t. Many do not roam around jumping people, pistol whipping them, robbing them, called a cab or food delivery so they can rob and kill the cabbie or deliveryman, etc., And in the past, there were many examples of, for example, disadvantaged whites in these same cities who didn’t resort to a fraction of the extreme violence, murders, etc., that occur today. The extreme levels of violence in urban America has only existed since the late 60’s-70’s, up to now.

  28. Francis says

    I agree with you to a certain extent, xtab, but at the same time, people need to defend themselves if someone is there to attack them. Showing any willingness to fight back usually prevents more serious injury, or can create a situation where others are more likely to jump in and stop the fight instead of being scared. You can’t just be defenseless in these situations. And I agree that you shouldn’t really be walking out at all in urban areas at 4:30 AM, regardless of what you are/aren’t wearing, and if you are, be careful, aware and always have something on you in case something does happen.

    Ratbastard, tell me, why do these statistics fly beneath the radar screen?

  29. Paul R says

    @Xtab: I happened to be walking by the San Francisco LGBT center earlier tonight and they were offering a free self-defense class. They even waited for me to walk my dog before starting. It was free, no one got injured, and no one came out thinking they were now invincible. The cop who ran it emphasized repeatedly that there are no guarantees when dealing with attackers. But it’s still better to have some knowledge when attacked than to be utterly defenseless.

    Many community centers offer free classes of this type, so I don’t know why you think they’re expensive or “guarantee” injury. A basic class is hardly the same as becoming a black belt in martial arts. Some of the class was just common sense (like the points you make near the end of your post), but all of it was useful. And again, no one came out of the class thinking they’re now some incredibly tough badass. Indeed, a big chunk of the presentation was on preventing or evading physical altercations.

  30. says

    Well Francis why don’t you just say to watch out for Black’s and Latino’s ignorant bastard. Once again your subliminal language AGAIN

    I guess there are no low income whites living in NYC and they don’t gay bash because Caucasians just adore our Gay community don’t they????

  31. Roftes says

    Chris..? I’m not ratbastard but I agree with him. And you using that language just PROVES his point. Low income uneducated thugs like you and your kind just can’t be civil. It’s not in your blood. You’ll probably end up in jail with the rest of your family. Truth hurts.

  32. redball says

    @Roftes, you are disgusting.

    Re: RatBastard the RaceBaiter’s point…

    I think you racist whities are relatively safe compared to the intracommunity violence the black community faces. RaceBaiter posted some data about black men being 6% of the US population but perpetrating 51% of the murders. How much of that violent crime is ON OTHER BLACKS? I would guess that most of it is, but I’m not a criminologist. One of you racists who loves to pore over race-based data ad infinitum will find it out and report back, I’m sure.

    And to you non-racists out there reading this who actually care about ALL hate (not just hate from blacks) and about communities of human beings be they black, white, Latino, or other groups…thank you!

  33. Derrick from Philly says

    CHRIS and REDBALl:

    I didn’t comment on the anti-Black/anti-Latino comments even though I knew they were coming. There are White Gays (and others) who are simply obssessed and terrified of Black people. Let them stay that way.

    The irony of this particular case is that I believe the attackers were probably White (a Gothic Cross tattoo on the thug’s face?). Also, I’m not sure of the race of the young man who was victimized. On his facebook entry he has one photograph in which he is being comforted by either a Black partner or friend.

    But let the Gay racist bigots do their talk…let them continue suffer with their “Urban White Gay Boy Scared to Death of Blacks Blues” Tough sh.t–deal with it.

  34. Francis says

    Yeah, like I’ve said. None of this should be solely about race. It’s a cultural issue. It’s an issue with assimilating these criminals into society. It’s an issue with the street thug mentality. It’s an issue with poverty and drug use. It’s an issue of a lack of education and a hostility against LGBT people (especially fem gays, trans-persons, drag queens etc., because these thugs have a desperate need to validate their masculinity). It’s an issue with most of these thugs having no healthy family structure. These thugs come in all colors. You want the hate crimes in NYC and in many other cities to stop, well, then we the tax paying, law abiding people need to clean up and take back the streets.

  35. redball says

    @Derrick, Thank God for you other brothers here! Sometimes it’s lonely and cold here amidst all the racist voices.

    @Roftes…about “faggot”: I bristle when straights use the term, but Chris is, I’m sure, not straight (he’s here way too much for that LOL) and thus his use of the term here is CORRECT. If you don’t understand, you can listen to Chris Rock’s brilliant bit on how he loooooves black people, but hates ni**ers. Basically the issue is: when you share the same minority identity with someone who epitomizes all the ugly stereotypes of YOUR OWN community, you are free to call them out with a pejorative term that is traditionally used against your community. It doesn’t have the same “bite” as when it comes from someone in the outgroup.

    When Chris calls Ratbastard a faggot (I’ve seen it a couple of times), I LAUGH b/c it is funny and it is funny b/c it is well-deserved as well as ironic.

  36. Xtab says

    @PAUL R

    Good point. I shouldn’t have been too hasty to slam self-defense classes. If you are attacked, it’s useful to know how to defend yourself enough to allow a hasty escape.

  37. ratbastard says

    Pathetic comments.

    ANY time ANYONE points out the OBVIOUS, that blacks have a VERY, VERY high level of VIOLENT crime in majority black communities and that young black males in urban areas commit A LOT … DISPROPORTIONATE, even MAJORITY of violent crime in many urban areas of America, and you get called the ‘R’ word and other names. The truth hurts, I know. But EVERYBODY with a BRAIN and experience know what I said is 100% bonafide truth.

    Where did I mention ‘Latinos’? I didn’t. But it’s funny how some blacks will always bring up ‘Latinos’, like they need back-up or whatever, when talking about ‘Racist’ . Anyway, when he described the crucifix tattoo on the face, I assumed the attackers were probably ‘Latino’ , not black.

    You dipsh*ts know nothing about me, my life experiences, what I look like [am I ‘ethnic’ looking LOL?!] and so-on. I have black friends. I have ‘Latino’ friends…close friends. I attended an Asian majority HS for 2 years. I’m used to speaking my mind and 99% of the people of all races and ethnicities I’m in contact with and have shot the sh*t with, agree with most of what I say. Black people know the violence in so-called black ‘communities’ is out of control. They know black urban youth are responsible [as a group] for a lot of violent crime. ‘Latinos’ living a ‘hood’ know there’s a big problem violence, gangs, etc., and that it’s not whites they have to worry about in this regard. Are there violent whites? Of course. But in urban areas, cities, ‘minority’ youth are the primary violent predators. EVERYBODY of every race, ethnicity, gender, etc., living in urban areas knows this. It’s no secret or racist theory.

  38. Just Saw says

    Well Francis why don’t you just say to watch out for Black’s and Latino’s ignorant bastard. Once again your subliminal language AGAIN

    I’m not the guy you are complaining about, but that is EXACTLY what I do. I view groups of black or Latino men late at night in the big city as a threat to my safety. Don’t want to hear it? Tough luck.

  39. Ginger Sanders says

    Thanks for the post. This is really horrible, and I can’t believe how crazy this world has gotten. If I ever visit New York, I’ll be sure to bring pepper spray, I can tell you that.