Crime | New York | News

Gay Man Attacked on NYC Subway; Onlookers Do Nothing

A 23-year-old gay man and his partner were attacked on the No.2 train in NYC on Monday night, the NY Daily News reports:

FrankellyUrena Morel Frankelly and his partner were on a southbound No. 2 train Monday night when a woman took a picture of them eating and her friend called them names.

“Why you taking a picture?” the victim asked.

“Feed you face, f-----" the suspect shouted back. Another woman with her chimed in, apparently asking the partner: “Why you with that f-----?”

Following the exchange, Frankelly was attacked (a man joined the two women) and repeatedly punched, the paper adds. Frankelly's eye was cut and swollen shut.

His partner said nobody came to their aid: “Everyone was watching — no one helped us. That was a very scary situation for us...Right now we’d just prefer to be alone.”

The NYPD has launched a hate crime investigation, the NY Post reports.

(image via NY Daily News)

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  1. @Ratbastard: I understand what you're saying. My point was how the narrative changes, based on the bubble. Outside of NYC, the comments are dismissive, and offensive to an entire region of people. Inside NYC, it's easy for those same people to break the situation down, instead of shrugging it off as a way of life. I don't expect people who don't leave their bubble to understand, but I seem to be unable to make the effort anyway.

    Posted by: Bill | Feb 20, 2013 12:54:24 PM

  2. I agree with Jordan. This site, more than any other gay blog, has a 'blame the gay' mentality in almost every thread. I mean, a hetero bigot could literally blow up a gay bar and say "die in hell f*gs" and I swear somehow, many of you would turn it into a "well, if they gays wouldn't go to bars, these things wouldn't happen"
    I think towleroad is a lost cause personally, and the many posters who left couples with the trolls who invaded proves how other gay blogs are far more stimulating and reasonable to frequent.

    Posted by: Duration & Convexity | Feb 20, 2013 1:47:03 PM

  3. @Francis: Let me know when you're ready to pay $20 a ride, and then maybe we can talk about a security guard in every car.

    Posted by: Broke But Safe | Feb 20, 2013 1:48:28 PM

  4. @Bill,

    I agree. And you and me can probably agree who the usual suspects are on here.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Feb 20, 2013 1:50:24 PM

  5. I feel like Ratbastard/Rick make 99% of the comments on here. Anyone else get that impression?

    That this story somehow turned into a "gay guy had it coming for talking back to the people harassing him for being gay" is one of those 'only on towleroad' moments. Brought to you by Rick/Ratbastard.

    Posted by: USC Trojans Fan | Feb 20, 2013 1:51:34 PM


    There's a lot of trolling on TR, and no, I'm not one of them. I wouldn't take most of the more outrageous posts at face value, my friend.

    As far as 'hate' crimes are concerned, truth is unfortunately many are faked. It's the boy who cried wolf syndrome. Most people don't like being scammed multiple times.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Feb 20, 2013 1:54:46 PM

  7. @Duration: That kind of hyperbole really adds nuance to the site. And instead of blaming the victim, you're blaming the smart ones.

    None of us wants to see a young gay couple be harrassed and attacked. And all of us want to see the people who did it arrested and charged and punished.

    But as a practical matter, it cannot be repeated too often that you have to: 1) know your surroundings; and 2) pick your battles. Let the ghetto rats flap their gums. It's not worth getting knifed just to flex our rainbow pride a little. It's all about risk assessment.

    Fighting unjust laws is one thing. Fighting a psychotic hoochie mama is quite another.

    Posted by: Livin' For the City | Feb 20, 2013 1:58:16 PM


    You are sadly wrong,my friend. And I have no idea who Rick is. Rick is not me, i.e. ratbastard.

    I've responded multiple time s on this thread because it's a subject matter I'm very familiar with.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Feb 20, 2013 2:00:28 PM

  9. In the stories where gay men are beat up and didn't react, the comments all say how gay men are weak and how pathetic it is the gay people didn't defend themselves.
    In a story about a gay person standing up and speaking up for himself, and defending himself, the comments all say how the gay man is stupid for defending himself.
    Fascinating stuff y'all. I mean the trolls aren't even trying to be consistent. Just basically throwing any spin out there that will ultimately put the gay individual in the blame seat.

    Posted by: Bamaman | Feb 20, 2013 2:01:30 PM

  10. BAMAMAN for the win here. A little consistency goes a long way.

    Posted by: Scott Johansen | Feb 20, 2013 2:03:18 PM

  11. @ Bamaman
    Praise you for being so dang observant and pointing out what some of us attempted to above! it's also why I think towleroad is going to shambles while other gay sites are thriving. The no login deal enables people to post with multiple handles and creates this atmosphere where the gay party is somehow always at fault.

    Posted by: Duration & Convexity | Feb 20, 2013 2:05:15 PM

  12. @Lil' Kiwi,

    If it's you trolling above, please stop.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Feb 20, 2013 2:07:32 PM

  13. @Ratbastard (perfect screename btw. Very fitting)
    that no matter how gruesome the attack, your reaction to every anti gay attack is to always throw out your canned meme about "well, many anti gay attacks are fake" proves how old, bitter, jaded, and self hating you are. I mean consider your life. You're up there in age, and your daily kicks are of coming on a gay site and actively ATTEMPTING to play devil's advocate in every story, while dismissing notions of homophobia. THAT'S your life. LoL, and not only in real life, but in virtual world, you don't have any friends or allies of sorts. Don't you ever sit back and go...I'm going to die soon; this is pathetic.
    A majority of us feel sorry for you. That you don't feel sorry for yourself is the narrative of your posts.

    Posted by: Duration & Convexity | Feb 20, 2013 2:08:56 PM

  14. It's stupid to say that "Rick" speaks for everyone on the site. I see a lot of people confronting and opposing his idiocy.

    And if you actually read the comments, nobody's blaming anyone. But it seems like people who have maybe lived a little longer, and maybe have a little more actual experience understand.

    Comment above talked about 'risk assessment', and that's dead on. Risk assesment and risk/reward assesment.

    Standing up for yourself isn't the same thing as mouthing off foolishly in a dangerous situation. We have to be honest with ourselves about this.

    Posted by: Towle Troll | Feb 20, 2013 2:09:50 PM

  15. I actually can't get past the fact that this man's name is URENA

    I swear he never had a chance in this world....

    Posted by: FakeOutrage | Feb 20, 2013 2:10:00 PM

  16. NYC is such a sh1thole. It's not nearly as great as everyone makes it out to be. Bunch of trashy people.

    Posted by: Diana | Feb 20, 2013 2:16:02 PM

  17. DURATION & CONVEXITY is the Toronto troll who goes by Lil' Kiwi and one thousand other names. If I'm wrong, he/she is doing an excellent imitation. One of Lil' K's classic techniques to to be very nasty and personal in his attacks He also uses the word 'y'all' very often. Apparently he thinks this will enthrall him to typical Americans, though 'y'all' is a regional southern ism.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Feb 20, 2013 2:26:16 PM

  18. But...Psst~ gotta be honest rat bastard, knowing how gays, gay rights, the gay community, gay movements is something you really resent and stresses you out kinda sorta makes me happy knowing you expose yourself to that stress every single day and hour on here. Stress is scientifically proven to cause cancer. And some people sheer existence on our planet is a cancer. Just sayin'

    Posted by: Duration & Convexity | Feb 20, 2013 2:35:08 PM

  19. Anyone who has written off TrollRoad as a lost cause is welcome to visit Joe My God.

    It's nothing but unicorns and bunnies and princess sparkle ponies all day over there.

    Posted by: You gotta be kidding | Feb 20, 2013 2:49:30 PM

  20. It's funny that some people will clap their hands in applause for us, but they won't actually lift a finger to help us when in need.

    Kitty Genovese is spinning in her grave right now.

    Posted by: Firestorm | Feb 20, 2013 2:51:33 PM

  21. Thanks, Firestorm for the Kitty Genovese reference. I'm a native New Yorker and the dark side of not minding our neighbors' business is that we tend not to get involved. I daresay we're hardwired that way.

    I don't recall if eating on the New York subways is explicitly prohibited, but it does represent a threat to the grooming standards of nearby passengers. If instead of using the f___ word, the aggressors had gone for the n____ word (or the motherf word), we wouldn't be discussing the incident in this blog.

    Posted by: Rich | Feb 20, 2013 3:28:46 PM

  22. The whole "know your surroundings, don't start stuff with people" sounds a lot like that "women wouldn't get raped if they didn't go out alone or at night" arguments. Violence is never the answer and I think the victim getting upset that some complete stranger was taking a picture of them is totally justified. The attack that followed was not.

    Posted by: Derrick | Feb 20, 2013 3:32:18 PM

  23. Strangers may not have stepped in, but I am sure for that most it had nothing to do with the fact the victim was gay. Every public transit rider tries to steer clear of the frequent nonsense that occurs. Yes, at some point, people should step in, and I suspect a lot of people were internally freaking out about what to do, but to throw yourself into a group of 6 people committing an assault? That takes an exceptional person.

    Posted by: Me | Feb 20, 2013 3:36:35 PM

  24. Much of what is commonly accepted about what happened with Kitty Genovese is actually urban myth. In fact, many people did call police contrary to popular belief. And this poor woman, Ms. Genovese, was an occasional prostitute and commotion at her place apparently wasn't uncommon.

    I agree with Derrick, it's absolutely rude to snap a pic of someone blatantly or not. And, yes, I'd be BS like most people. That said, it doesn't surprise me under the circumstances that it escalated. Those [censored B-word] were itching for a fight.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Feb 20, 2013 3:55:21 PM

  25. Why exactly should strangers have stepped in? Because they were gay? It sounds like there was some kind of argument that both sides participated in...and then it escalated. Not for nothin' but many people (gays included) think they can "say" anything to you...have as nasty a tone as they want and you have to just suck it up and "deal". Hate to say it, but you have no idea what went down on that train or what exchange went down....all I'm sayin'...

    Posted by: Details | Feb 20, 2013 3:55:45 PM

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