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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. @Francis "Train rides in the Northeast (NYC, Philly, Baltimore, etc.) are rough business."

    I've been riding those trains for over 25 years, (to and from the Bronx on the 2 as well), and I have no idea why all your posts make it sound like you take your life in your hands riding them.

    Something obviously frightened you, but you need to get over it and stop scaring other people.

    Posted by: Rawn | Feb 20, 2013 3:57:48 PM


  2. Reading through these comments, it's pretty easy to see that some people get it. And some don't.

    A subway car is no place to assert your identity. A subway car is about getting from here to there, preferably without getting the $hit beat out of you. And the reality, the muthuh-fuggin' REALITY is that a subway car is a pretty easy place to get the $hit beat out of you for a whole lot of reasons, including but not limited to being conspicuously homosexual.

    I remember being on a crowded subway car in winter one time when it had been raining, and the smell of wet wool was thick. These two women got on the car in a foul mood, and started making faces and complaining about the smell. The one standing beside me said something to the effect that "These white people make me SICK, getting on here smelling like wet dogs!" My coat was damp, I'm white enough, and in all likelihood she was talking about me. Was this the time to give here a lecture on racial tolerance and good manners? Was it the time for me to get in her face about my right to wear wet wool in peace? Was it worth escalating the situation in the name of civility? Or was it wiser to try to create a little space, ignore the comments, overlook the insult, and get home safely. I chose the latter and never looked back.

    Equating the 'know your surroundings' advice with the blaming the victim is a false and foolish argument. No one here here would agree that a woman DESERVES to be raped because of the way she's dressed. But trying to identify factors that put her in danger and avoid a horrible recurrence is not blaming her.

    In the same vein, no one thinks that a person deserves to be mugged because they're listening to their iPod. And advising them that doing so puts them at risk is not blaming them.

    Same with subway divas. Nobody argues that this young man and his boyfriend deserved to be accosted or attacked. But getting into a verbal altercation with a gang of women who are itching for a fight is dangerous. If you have to fight to protect yourself, then fight. But do everything you can to prevent things from getting to that point. Even if I don't want to see him get injured, it doesn't sound at all like this guy did everything he could to avoid confrontation. I hope he never faces that situation again.

    No one wants to see a young gay person get injured, or God forbid killed. Be Proud, but be smart. Or at least a little smarter. That's all.

    Posted by: Wet Dog | Feb 20, 2013 4:35:49 PM


  3. Chris - Perhaps the people cheering in the other video were simply trying to egg on a fight.

    Stefan - If they had been armed, it wouldn't matter how "manly" they were.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Feb 20, 2013 4:51:08 PM


  4. Alpha -

    I have seen similar attacks on public transit in San Francisco. My boyfriend went to defend the gay guy being hit, and the apes in the back said, "You can't hit him, he's a minor." Seriously. BF collared the "minor" and the guy jumped out the rear window when the bus stopped.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Feb 20, 2013 4:54:23 PM


  5. Wet Dog -

    And the point of law abiding people being armed is that criminals should never know whether you are or aren't armed. Trust me that this would not happen on a bus around here. Florida has 18 million people and 1 million concealed carry permits. So a criminal has a 1 in 18 chance of attacking someone who will kill him.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Feb 20, 2013 4:56:30 PM


  6. @David Hearne: Save your Tea Party nonsense for someone else. Your handgun would be worthless with a knife stuck in your jugular vein.

    This situation didn't call for a gun. Just a little more common sense and a little bit thicker skin.

    Posted by: Wet Dog | Feb 20, 2013 5:05:10 PM


  7. I thought this was gay marriage loving New York? Too bad it doesn't translate.

    Posted by: geb | Feb 20, 2013 6:02:01 PM


  8. @ Wet Dog

    You talk like a fool. This was exactly the scenario in which a gun was called for. This situation was the law of the jungle. Contrary to what they might have taught you in public school, you have a right to say anything you want and it doesn't give someone else the right to shut you up simply because they are bigger, crazier, or more experienced in gorilla behavior than you are.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Feb 20, 2013 6:19:11 PM


  9. Dont the police ever ride the trains in NYC?

    Posted by: grego | Feb 20, 2013 6:20:29 PM


  10. GEB - You might as well we talking to a wall as to challenge some of the followers around here. If a gay person is killed in Montgomery, it's typical. If it happens ten times as often in NYC or SF it's an anomaly.

    The simple fact is that whether you are talking about Atlanta, Houston, or Orlando and whether you are talking about race, ethnicity, or orientation Southerners simple don't experience the level of overt hostility and just plain bad manners that you see in northern cities.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Feb 20, 2013 6:24:58 PM


  11. To me, it sounds like the two women knew the guy they assaulted. The use of the word "THAT" to his partner (of all people, him being gay as well) suggests not a hate crime, but a simple assault.

    Posted by: Rodney Wollam | Feb 20, 2013 6:28:53 PM


  12. Rawn----it's because many rides at night are very much dangerous and incidents like this happen regularly against innocent people. That's just how it is. It doesn't mean it's a death sentence, but it's dangerous.

    This thread has predictably degraded into crap, but I will say, I agree with both sides of the "don't blame him vs be aware of your surroundings" conversation. Like I said earlier, you have to know your surroundings and know the people you're dealing with. If you feel under threat like this when there are more than a handful of people involved, the worst thing to do is confront the situation head on because that's escalating a manner you likely can't control.

    With that being said, it certainly isn't Urena's fault for getting upset at his photo being taken and he being harassed. He did what most people would do. If someone was snapping my photo without my permission I'd probably do the same thing. It's not his fault in the slightest. It takes a whole lot to not react in such a way. Ultimately, savages will be savages.

    Rodney, I was thinking the same thing, but it's still a hate crime given the nature of the crime. It's interesting they didn't attack Urena's partner but then again, that very well could be because it was Urena who spoke up and not his partner. In any case, it's a hate crime and these thugs need to be captured. Hopefully some of the witnesses on the train with Urena will give statements.

    Posted by: Francis | Feb 20, 2013 6:40:32 PM


  13. Rawn----it's because many rides at night are very much dangerous and incidents like this happen regularly against innocent people. That's just how it is. It doesn't mean it's a death sentence, but it's dangerous.

    This thread has predictably degraded into crap, but I will say, I agree with both sides of the "don't blame him vs be aware of your surroundings" conversation. Like I said earlier, you have to know your surroundings and know the people you're dealing with. If you feel under threat like this when there are more than a handful of people involved, the worst thing to do is confront the situation head on because that's escalating a manner you likely can't control.

    With that being said, it certainly isn't Urena's fault for getting upset at his photo being taken and he being harassed. He did what most people would do. If someone was snapping my photo without my permission I'd probably do the same thing. It's not his fault in the slightest. It takes a whole lot to not react in such a way. Ultimately, savages will be savages.

    Rodney, I was thinking the same thing, but it's still a hate crime given the nature of the crime. It's interesting they didn't attack Urena's partner but then again, that very well could be because it was Urena who spoke up and not his partner. In any case, it's a hate crime and these thugs need to be captured. Hopefully some of the witnesses on the train with Urena will give statements.

    Posted by: Francis | Feb 20, 2013 6:40:32 PM


  14. The #2 comes down through some of the most, uh, socially backward parts of the Bronx. I'm sorry to say that--but it's true. I worked up there for years and know the territory. It's largely West Indian folks. And as we know, in the main, West Indian people are unwilling to be our friends yet--at least, not publicly.

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Feb 20, 2013 6:47:24 PM


  15. Addendum @ Francis
    If the women attacked him because he they just personally disliked him or because he talked back to them, that's not a hate crime, even if he happens to be gay. If they attacked him for solely being gay, why did they leave his partner alone? The first is assault. The second is a hate crime.

    Finally, if they attacked him for all of the above reasons, I have no idea what the charge would be.

    Posted by: Rodney Wollam | Feb 20, 2013 6:56:03 PM


  16. @David: "You talk like a fool."

    Only so you'd understand.

    Posted by: Wet Dog | Feb 20, 2013 7:24:26 PM


  17. @David: "Contrary to what they might have taught you in public school, you have a right to say anything you want and it doesn't give someone else the right to shut you up simply because they are bigger, crazier, or more experienced in gorilla behavior than you are."

    How old are you? Seriously...how old? 19?

    Being in the right doesn't keep you alive, or even necessarily safe. Plenty of dead pedestrians in crosswalks as evidence of that.

    I'd much rather be smart and alive than right and dead.

    Posted by: Wet Dog | Feb 20, 2013 7:28:09 PM


  18. Black women are very angry they have dark skin, afro-textured hair, and African facial features instead of European features. They are ready to boil over any minute for any reason.

    Posted by: Billy Crytical | Feb 20, 2013 7:36:48 PM


  19. And gay men are angry they have penises and flat chests instead of breast and vaginas like the women they want to be.

    How does that feel?

    Posted by: RightBackatYou | Feb 20, 2013 8:08:55 PM


  20. RIGHT: You are correct.

    Posted by: Josh | Feb 20, 2013 8:33:59 PM


  21. @Ratbastard: You have slandered the name of Kitty Genovese murdered in 1964 by a mutant named Moseley, who remains in prison to this day and hopefully he will die in prison. Kitty Genovese was no prostitute as you slander. She was a lesbian earning her living as a bar manager. She was returning home to the apartment she shared with her partner at about 3:00 AM when stabbed to death by the mutant Moseley. There are conflicting stories about how many people were aware of her attack and did nothing. The bottom line is that no one came to her aid. That behavior is now called the Genovese Syndrome.

    Posted by: andrew | Feb 20, 2013 10:33:32 PM


  22. I can understand why some people wouldn't want to get involved in a multi-person brawl but someone could have either discreetly snapped a picture of the perp. from their cell phone for police or pressed the emergency call button to alert the driver. Instead, people look away and want no part. I ride the subways every day in Boston and rode the subways every day in NY for many years and have had a few people threaten me with violence over the years. And - each time, people just looked away. No one wanted to get involved. Irrelevant or not the truth is that ALL of the aggressive people that wanted to F me up because I accidently bumped into them or whatever were young black men. More bad S*** goes down when you are riding on subway cars that go through crap neighborhoods. It sucks but true. I'm at the point where I will just either move to a place where I can walk to work or drive in from the suburbs unless they get transit police on all the cars.

    Posted by: tiko | Feb 20, 2013 10:43:31 PM


  23. @Andrew,

    I see wiki claims she was a lesbian. Who knows if it's true or not. I shouldn't have mentioned the prostitution part, you're right. The poor woman is dead.

    But the part about he being ignored is basically untrue. It's an urban myth.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Kitty_Genovese

    Posted by: ratbastard | Feb 20, 2013 11:09:35 PM


  24. "...Everyone was watching — no one helped us..." -- U.M. Frankelly

    "...The 357 is a lot faster than 911."

    Posted by: Bill Michael | Feb 21, 2013 11:29:36 AM


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