Just hours after thousands of New Yorkers joined Edie Windsor, Christine Quinn, and the family of recently slain Mark Carson to rally against hate crimes, another gay man was reportedly attacked in an apparent hate crime in the city’s East Village. According to Bruce Yelk of NightLifeGay.com, witnesses saw Dan Contarino, a former club promoter, being kicked and beaten by an assailant yelling gay slurs. Catarino posted on Facebook and Twitter about the alleged incident, which took place on Avenue D and 4th Street.
Yelk, a friend of Contarino, spoke with BuzzFeed this morning about his knowledge of the alleged attack: “I found out initially via Dan’s Facebook post which went up around 10:30pm on Monday. I was able to reach him by phone 45 minutes later. By then, he had woken up in a hospital room with no memory of how he got there. He kept saying that he was scared and that he was covered in blood. I spoke with him again this morning just before he met with the [NYPD’s] Hate Crime Unit. He was with them for about three hours and has since gone back to the hospital.”
Yelk said he believed Catarino was alone, but noted that witnesses said they heard the alleged attacker yelling the word “faggot.”
Earlier this month, Nick Porto and his partner Kevin Atkins were reportedly attacked by a group of men shouting gay slurs. And on May 18, Mark Carson was gunned down in Greenwich Village by a suspect who apparently later laughed and bragged about the attack to police as he was taken into custody. As of this morning, a suspect in Contarino’s attack has not be identified. BuzzFeed has reached out to Contarino as well as the NYPD for comment.
This afternoon, Mayor Bloomberg and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly addressed the rash of hate crimes that have struck New York City’s LGBT community less than a month before Gay Pride begins. “It’s not a good day for New York,” said the mayor. “No person, regardless of what they look like or who they love should ever walk down the street in fear.” Commissioner Kelly added that crimes in NYC are down so far this year by almost 30%, but anti-gay hate crimes are up 70% over same period.
Perhaps more shocking than that statistic itself is the fact that Monday evening saw not one, but two alleged gay hate crimes. According to CBS News in New York, a gay couple was attacked in SoHo around 5:20am on Tuesday morning. Two suspects, Fabian Ortiz, 32, and Pedro Jiminez, 23, have since been charged with third degree assault as a hate crime, NYPD has said.
According to the New York Post, a man has turned himself into police and taken responsiblity for the assault of Dan Contarino this past friday. The man, Gornell Roman, 39, has been charged with two counts of felony and misdemeanor assault and felony aggravated harassment, all as hate crimes. According to police, Roman turned himself in yesterday evening to authorities in the Bronx.