Crime | Gay Slurs | New York | News

Straight, Interracial Couple Victimized In Racist, Homophobic Attack

Billie and Jacob James-Vogel

Billie and Jacob James-Vogel were with their gay friend at a Long Island City bar celebrating a birthday over the weekend. When the group went to leave the bar at approximately 1:30 AM on Saturday, they were approached by three men from a nearby automobile. The attackers began shouting homophobic slurs at the group. When Jacob James-Vogel attempted to intervene, that's when the situation reportedly became physical. 

"I was pushed to the ground, and I covered my face, and just got punched multiple, multiple times," he told NBC 4 New York. "And while I was lying on the ground covering my face, I got to watch them shove my wife to the ground without being able to help her." The attackers also reportedly added racial slurs to their insults during the incident, which left her with several bruises and a broken toe and him with a black eye and a head injury. 

Long Island City barAccording to reports, the couple then tried to return to the same bar they had previously patronized, only to be turned away by the doorman. When asked about the incident, the bar's owner claimed that he was protecting the safety of the bar's other customers, and that he thought that someone had already called the police. "We're still looking at it as a possible hate crime," said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. 

This incident is simply the latest in the increasing number of anti-gay attacks taking place in the New York City area this year. According to reports, if the current trends continue, numbers for this year are set to possibly double last year's totals. 

Watch NBC 4's report of the incident HERE.

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  1. The bar owner should have let them in. What a gutless jerk! Nobody should ever go to that bar again.

    Posted by: Joel | Aug 22, 2013 10:00:56 AM

  2. What was the name of this bar? Perhaps the LGBT people of New York City should let them know with their dollars what they think of inaction in the face of such a crime.

    Posted by: Alex | Aug 22, 2013 10:12:42 AM

  3. Not that the details matter as it's clearly a horrible event, but the description is fairly confusing. Was the gay friend there during the attack? And it states that Jacob attempted to intervene, but it's not clear what he's intervening in. Either the word should be respond (to the namecalling) or possibly they were attacking the gay friend first and then Jacob intervened?

    And yes, the doorman and bar owner are awful people. It's not clear but it seems like possibly the whole thing went down in front of the club in view of the doorman (and possibly others, which is why they thought other customers were in danger and that somebody had called the police).

    Posted by: Brian1 | Aug 22, 2013 10:19:41 AM

  4. @Alex the bar in question is SHI Bar in Long Island City, NY.

    Posted by: Jeff | Aug 22, 2013 10:46:41 AM

  5. Textbook example of how homophobia is everyone's problem, not just GLB's.

    Posted by: Munro | Aug 22, 2013 10:49:01 AM

  6. sad

    Posted by: Moz's | Aug 22, 2013 10:49:17 AM

  7. I just watched the video of NBC's report and I'm still confused about what happened with their gay friend. Jacob James-Vogel said that he was jumped after he responded verbally to the homophobic slurs, and then his wife was assaulted when she tried to help him. No mention of what was going on with their friend at all.

    Posted by: JMC | Aug 22, 2013 10:52:02 AM

  8. What an awful story. This is the third time I've heard of a gay bar either shutting out someone being attacked or being very unhelpful. The two previous incidents were in Seattle and Houston.

    Posted by: | Aug 22, 2013 11:12:55 AM

  9. Police arrested Nikolaos Katsos, 28,

    NYC is America is becoming full of recently arrived immigrants from places that are not nearly has gay friendly as mainstream American culture. MOST of the world is very homophobic/antigay.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 22, 2013 11:13:27 AM

  10. @JMC,

    I believe he ran away, leaving his 'friends' in the dust.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 22, 2013 11:15:01 AM

  11. This is why Pink Pistols is important for the LGBT community. Unless we fight back in self-defence, homophobes will continue to attack us thinking they'll get away with it. We need to wake up and protect ourselves.

    Posted by: Sara | Aug 22, 2013 11:20:49 AM

  12. I should add that most of the world is also very racist and intolerant of mixed race couples. This is true in Asia, Africa, parts of Europe, even South America to a degree [yes, South American culture broadly speaking is very racist and defined by classism.] We Americans, Canadians, Euros, sometimes have our head in the sand regarding these issues.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 22, 2013 11:25:57 AM

  13. @JMC,

    I believe he ran away, leaving his 'friends' in the dust.

    POSTED BY: RATBASTARD | AUG 22, 2013 11:15:01 AM

    Is this true? Is that what's being left out of all the retellings, so as not to make the gay friend being defended look like an ass?

    Since racial slurs were dropped, game over.

    The gay bar is practicing discrimination by refusing to serve a straight couple (and using the fight to justify it), and may be practicing racial discrimination by refusing to serve a mixed-race couple.... need more information on that one, though.

    Posted by: Zeta | Aug 22, 2013 11:31:05 AM

  14. The a-hole management at SHI has posted on the front page of their website a DENIAL that the couple were turned away after the attack. SHI's facebook page has also disappeared.

    Posted by: QJ201 | Aug 22, 2013 11:35:14 AM

  15. @BRIAN1 Thanks for the devil's advocacy. However, it doesn't matter the who or what the f*ck. People got gay-bashed. What part of the article didn't you understand?

    @RATBASTARD So, tell us. Which parts of Asia, Africa, Europe and even South America have you personally experienced? And, in which of those parts of the world do "mixed-race" couples get bashed? Please. Speak not of that which you know absolutely nothing about.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Aug 22, 2013 11:35:35 AM

  16. @Zeta: Consider the source.

    Posted by: crispy | Aug 22, 2013 11:44:45 AM

  17. "racial purity" is utterly unscientific foolishness

    there isn't a place on earth that isn't mixed.

    Europe LOL explain the north african and subsaharan remains found at old roman forts (roman military service being the fastest and best means of upward mobility in the empire if not of the rulling class). they didn't pack up and head back to africa they interbred with the population

    Africa has many places intermixed with India natives, greeks, arabs etc

    arabs a huge mix

    asia a huge mix

    russians have mongol blood from the mongol invasion and rapes

    america = huge melting pot with many white southerners and black southerners being long distant cousins since plantation owners regularly raped their slaves and lighter skins tried to pass into white society and interbred with whites etc etc etc

    Hell, we have figured out mitochondrial eve dating to a genetic bottleneck around 200,000 years ago which resulted in mitochondrial eve's descendants being all and every single last human that was or is whether by simply out-breeding the other females present at the time or she and her descendants killing the other mitochondrial lines (mitochondria has separate and distinct DNA from your cellular DNA and is passed directly from mother to child)

    Posted by: Moz's | Aug 22, 2013 11:52:21 AM

  18. @jamal

    There was no devil advocacy and I thought I was pretty clear what part I didn't understand. The article, as written, doesn't make sense. I also said the details aren't important and that it was a horrible crime, but thanks for the unnecessary hostility.

    I do, on the other hand, agree with your questions to ratbastard. He has anointed himself the expert on racism in every nook and cranny around the world, except that his comments are universally wrong.

    Posted by: Brian1 | Aug 22, 2013 12:13:14 PM

  19. PS; Human MRCA

    the most recent common ancestor of ALL humans everywhere no matter what continent or remote island is traced to only about 5,000 years ago

    LOL on "racial purity" because no such thing exists. We are all mixed and related

    Posted by: Moz's | Aug 22, 2013 12:13:37 PM

  20. This is an incident where a pink gun and three bullets well-aimed would have solved the problem, and made sure that the assailants would not pester anybody again!

    Stop being sissy-men, and start being BITCHES!

    Posted by: BRAINS | Aug 22, 2013 12:21:00 PM

  21. PEOPLE!!! Go to their YELP PAGE!! Write a negative review for the restaurant! Unbelievable how they were treated as patrons of the place!! NOT OK

    Posted by: jackJake | Aug 22, 2013 12:52:00 PM

  22. I have a bit more information about this story as I was at SHI the Monday after the attack and did seriously consider not going.
    1) SHI is not a gay bar. It's a restaurant that turns into a club after hours.
    2) SHI and its management have always been gay friendly. My first time going there was to see a drag show that a friend sponsored.
    3) The news stories are not giving all the details. The reason given as to why the couple and their friend were turned away is that the doorman did not witness the racism or gay bashing and was concerned about a possible brawl spilling into the bar. The victims supposedly did not mention the "hate crime" part of it until the next morning.
    Given that, I realize that there is their story, SHI's story and somewhere between lies the truth.
    At the end of the day, it's still a horrific crime and they do have one of the perpetrators in custody. Justice will prevail, and the truth will come out.
    We probably won't be hearing the results in the news though.

    Posted by: Brendan | Aug 22, 2013 12:56:59 PM

  23. My favorite racial mix trivia: Barack Obama's "white" mother is a descendant of America's first documented African slave. I myself, who looks Northern European & maybe Jewish) have ancestry from Europe, Asia, Middleeast, and indigenous Central America. Ooh, I feel so dirty!

    Posted by: David R. | Aug 22, 2013 12:57:34 PM

  24. Trash runs deep in that family.

    Posted by: Hagatha | Aug 22, 2013 1:16:21 PM

  25. Has a link been found between the attackers in all these crimes? Is someone or something responsible for this large of an increase in attacks?

    Posted by: Droc | Aug 22, 2013 1:35:39 PM

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