Hell’s Kitchen Attack Raises Concerns About NYPD Response

Questions raised about police conduct after gay bashing

WPLJ DJ Blake Hayes, Broadway performer Danny Calvert and another friend were allegedly the victims of an anti-gay attack in Hell’s Kitchen by a patron of McCoy’s bar at the end of September.

According to Hayes’s blog, the three men were walking on Ninth Avenue when a man flicked a lit cigarette at them and then allegedly followed with the words “Keep moving, faggot.”

“We exchanged words, more and more heated, until he started to approach us, threatening violence,” Hayes wrote on his blog, adding, “before we knew it, he had shoved me down the block, then thrown one friend against a car, denting it. The other took two punches to the face, cutting his lip before the bouncer at McCoy’s came out and stopped him.”

The victims claim they alerted the New York City Police Department, who arrived promptly at the scene but did not take down the attacker’s information or help the three men file a claim.

“Being able to marry is one thing. But being able to walk down the street in peace, and to be able to see someone arrested who tries to disrupt that peace—is a simple human right,” Hayes wrote on his blog.  

City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn said in a statement after the attack, “I am obviously outraged by news that another bias attack has occurred in our city. But I am also deeply concerned by reports from the victims that NYPD officers responding to the scene did not appropriately recognize the seriousness of the incident,” adding, “if these reports are true, the behavior of the police officers involved was also outrageous and merits swift action by the police department.”  

Quinn asked the Police Commissioner’s office to conduct an investigation of the reports, and to have police officials meet with the three men. The NYPD responded quickly, and is now conducting an official in-depth investigation of the attack.

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