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50 People Did Nothing as Gay Couple Were Attacked in NYC Subway: VIDEO


As Towleroad reported yesterday, J.P. Masterson and his partner Peter Moore had been celebrating their 10th anniversary when they were attacked by a man on the W. 4th Street subway station in Greenwich Village early Sunday morning.

Attacker"I f--king hate faggots," is what the suspect, believed to be about 5'8", 170 pounds, and in his late 20's, said to the couple before striking Masterson and pushing him toward the tracks, they say.

Masterson added that he was very disappointed that when the attack happened, no one on the crowded subway platform called police or did anything. There were about 50 people on the platform at the time, he said.

“I want my New Yorkers to step up and help me out, because, you know, at the end of the day, we’re all just people,” he said.

But as he waited to undergo surgery, Masterson vowed that he is bruised, but not broken. “You might beat me down, and I might look real grotesque right now, but I’m still standing,” he said.

Masterson and Moore speak with CBS New York, AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. This is what is known as the bystander effect:

    Most people are nervous about reacting in crisis situations like this, and the more people there are around, the less individual responsibility any one person feels they have. People think, "Surely someone else has already called the police or gotten help."

    It is truly awful what happened to these men, but this is not anti-gay animus or apathy towards the plight of two gay men. This is simply a well-documented human herd response to a horrifying crisis situation.

    Posted by: Eric | Mar 7, 2014 9:49:33 AM

  2. I call BS, Eric. We don't so the bystander effect here in SF. I just noticed this with Castro denizens making sure a fighting homeless couple didn't tear each other apart on Market & Church. Maybe it's more about the Village not being what it used to be.

    Posted by: Jt | Mar 7, 2014 10:02:58 AM

  3. I hope they catch the animal who did this and put him in a cage where he belongs. A pox on anyone else who made a decision to not get involved.

    Posted by: NotSafeForWork | Mar 7, 2014 10:21:02 AM

  4. I call BS on this....

    Posted by: styler | Mar 7, 2014 10:21:29 AM

  5. I call BS, JT... until a year ago I lived in the Castro. No. It's not a "Village not being what it use to be" thing. There have been PLENTY of crimes in SF, including the Castro, where people just stood by, doing nothing. Let's not generalize.

    Posted by: JimmyD | Mar 7, 2014 10:23:05 AM

  6. Well if your own boyfriend is not going to do anything, why would a bystander?

    Posted by: FakeOutrage | Mar 7, 2014 10:33:57 AM

  7. NYPD is participtating in anti-gay parade, why are we surprised they condone anti-gay violence?

    Posted by: litper | Mar 7, 2014 10:38:48 AM

  8. It's horrible what they've gone through, and I wish them well...

    But OMG, in that picture, they're like a real-life Cam and Mitchell from Modern Family. Even the way they are sitting with one's hand on the other's leg is exactly how they do those interview segments on Modern Family.

    Posted by: crispy | Mar 7, 2014 10:40:05 AM

  9. I'm with Eric on this - it's a real phenomenon, and I have experienced it myself. I was attacked on a public street in DC - bashed with a brick - and knew no one would step forward to help me because of the bystander effect. However, the way to overcome that is to specifically single someone out to help you - don't expect anyone to offer, but point to someone and specifically say "can you call the police?" That is what I did and people did help.

    Posted by: CPT_Doom | Mar 7, 2014 10:53:45 AM

  10. West 4th street, where all the trains from the outer boroughs stop to let off the thugs, trash and idiots to prowl the West Village. Not a safe station late at night. I always use 14th St. after midnight.

    Posted by: Qj201 | Mar 7, 2014 11:06:57 AM

  11. I remember this type of thing started to happen back in the 1960's - I believe it was 1964 - when a young woman was attacked and killed on a sidewalk in NYC and the bystanders did nothing to help her. It made headlines everywhere. So sad that it's still happening today.

    Posted by: David From Canada | Mar 7, 2014 11:16:19 AM

  12. Two grown men cannot beat-up one man!


    Posted by: BRAINS | Mar 7, 2014 11:27:55 AM

  13. Eric is right, the Bystander Effect is real. It should be publicized more. Then people might be aware they're in the middle of a psychological pattern and pull themselves out of it.

    Posted by: Jude | Mar 7, 2014 11:28:32 AM

  14. CPT_DOOM, great advice.

    Posted by: Jude | Mar 7, 2014 11:29:17 AM

  15. Twice in my life, I've seen situations that I thought I should do something about (men beating their wives). I stepped in both times, but I was scared to death. It's hard to do.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Mar 7, 2014 11:38:46 AM

  16. the bigger question is what did the boyfriend do? it's not even addressed.

    and when are we going to hear about gay men fighting back? it was 2 against one.

    50 men and women on the enrire platform, theyre probably spread out and dont understand the context of a violent commotion or what started it or if there are weapons. frankly not getting involved is completely understandable.

    and it's only men who are expected to get involved.

    Posted by: jaker | Mar 7, 2014 11:41:34 AM

  17. I have to say, I feel sorry that these guys had to go through this. But I do wonder -- what's up with all these gay guys getting their asses kicked? I don't know a single guy among my friends who would be subjected to this. They would be the ones kicking ass. Could we have at least one story where it wasn't about some gay guy getting the sh*t kicked out of him? What about "gay guy fights back" and wins?!

    Posted by: Nino | Mar 7, 2014 11:43:30 AM

  18. @DAVID FROM CANADA: the case you are remembering was the murder of Kitty Genovese in Kew Gardens, Queens, on 13 March 1964, and the way you are remembering it is the way it was reported at that time. And you're right in remembering that it prompted research into the "bystander effect".

    However, the reporting was sensationalized; "For more than half an hour thirty-eight respectable, law-abiding citizens in Queens watched a killer stalk and stab a woman in three separate attacks in Kew Gardens" was typical, and it's what is remembered, but it's just plain wrong. Neighbors called out their windows, stopping the first attack, and a neighbor called police after the second attack. Most of the "38" people could only hear one of the incidents, and couldn't see it, and frankly had no idea what was going on. The police ignored the phone call from the neighbor.

    What also wasn't reported at the time was that Kitty Genovese was lesbian.

    You can read more at the linked url.

    Posted by: Vint | Mar 7, 2014 11:49:06 AM

  19. So two able-bodied adult males are attacked by one male and they do nothing to defend themselves. So why on Earth should a bystander put himself at risk for 2 people who won't defend themselves? I agree that they should have called the police, but to suggest that they should have intervened in the fight, as if these 2 are little children or are elderly people, is ridiculous.

    Posted by: Andrew | Mar 7, 2014 12:18:20 PM

  20. All you guys who think it's so easy to fight back, or to defend your loved one who has just been bashed... You have no idea how you will react in any situation.

    When your loved one is in severe pain, bleeding, etc. while the ass is running away, you're going to tend to him rather than chase the brute.

    You have no idea how you will respond when someone inflicts violence upon you or your loved one. Even for those of us who have successfully defended ourselves in the past, you can easily see how the situation might have been very different.

    Fine, advocate training in self-defense -- I certainly do. Learn how to use a pistol, for god's sake. Learning is always a good thing.

    But NEVER assume you would respond to a violent situation like a wild west hero. You might, you might not. When someone you care about has been brutalized right next to you, it is natural to tend to him and make sure he is OK. The real coward took you off-guard and ran off. You stayed to focus on the better human being. THAT is what being a hero is.

    Posted by: Jude | Mar 7, 2014 12:31:19 PM

  21. I was attacked outside the DC Eagle many years ago. Bystander effect my foot- let's call it what it is: the Cowardly Queen Effect. No one in that crowd could have thought that someone else was doing something about it. I called out to them. I yelled, "Help me, don't just stand there!" Nothing. It wasn't until the doorman half a block away noticed that I was pinned to the hood of a car and came running, distracting the assailant, that I could escape. The police were called and said that they couldn't do anything because they didn't see it and I wasn't bleeding. Seriously. I asked them to put the criminal in their car, drive him to a remote area of the city and then release him so he couldn't be waiting for me when I left. Nope.

    This is why you arm yourselves people. It's not paranoia. It's not cowardice. You didn't grow up in a violent and criminal culture. You didn't grow up street fighting. The odds are against you in a fist fight. Criminals and thugs don't fight "fair". Guns are an equalizer. A five foot tall man with a gun can stand his ground against a six foot tall man with fists like hammers. A man who is beating you is not "unarmed" no matter how many times the POS Lawrence O'Donnell repeats it.

    Posted by: enchantra | Mar 7, 2014 12:32:16 PM

  22. This reminds me of those losers at the movie theater in TX about a year ago. 6 or 7 gay guys harassed by one guy. And they all sit there and take it until one of them goes and runs to get "help" from the manager. I wonder what he said. "Please, help us! We are being harassed and we only have a 7-1 advantage!"

    Then there was the incident in Greenwich Village in NY City in which several guys were attacked by 1 guy. And there was the guy in the ultra gay Chelsea neighborhood who harassed and attacked gay "men" on a busy street. That guy was probably surrounded by dozens of gays but no one stopped him. Finally, a city bus pulled over and the bus driver - an actual man - got out and saved the dozens of faux men from further distress.

    How pathetic. A bunch of guys who probably go to the gym to look like men, but who lack the requisite character to qualify.

    Posted by: Sian | Mar 7, 2014 12:33:48 PM

  23. I am friends with these guys, it may help those who are asking why one did not defend the other to read how they recounted it to me, instead of the 30 second news clip when CBS stalked them outside their home and started asking questions.

    If you are interested please click my name above to read my blog post about it.

    Posted by: Chris | Mar 7, 2014 12:36:15 PM

  24. ENCHANTRA - I couldn't agree with you more! Guns ARE the great equalizer. Often people don't need to pull the trigger...just pulling it out gets the guy running.

    At the very least, gay couples should keep a pump shotgun at home. And yes, learn to use it.

    Posted by: Jude | Mar 7, 2014 12:43:33 PM

  25. CHRIS - thank you for the blog post. I'm sorry about what happened to your friends. May they catch the ass and reconstruct his face.

    Posted by: Jude | Mar 7, 2014 12:45:57 PM

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