Tuesday, May 21, 2013

[Updated] Report: Gay man attacked on Avenue D last night

Reports are coming in about an apparent gay bashing in the East Village last night...

The attack reportedly happened on Avenue D and East Fourth Street. NightllifeGay.com has more details about the incident:

Allegedly, witnesses are reporting the assailant was yelling "f*ggot" as he was kicking and beating Dan. Neighbors rushed to Dan's aid and chased after the attacker but unfortunately he got away. The police are investigating the assault now and have not determine it a hate crime.

Read more about this here. Towleroad has a report here.

Last night in the West Village, an estimated 1,000 people marched to Sixth Avenue and West Eighth Street, where 32-year-old Mark Carson was murdered this past weekend. Police have charged Elliot Morales with the second degree murder-hate crime of Carson. Morales reportedly made anti-gay remarks before shooting Carson in the head.


A gay couple in their 40s were attacked early this morning while walking on Broadway between Prince and Houston. Via WNBC 4:

The men were both punched, and one suffered an eye injury, sources said.

Police said two men, 32 and 33, were arrested and face a charge of assault as a hate crime.

As The Advocate notes: "This brings the number of New York City gay bashings in the past 30 days to an alarming seven."

Updated 5-22

WPIX had an interview with the victim, 45-year-old Dan Contarino. This report said the incident happened on Avenue D.

"You don’t expect this to happen. Sometimes certain people just snap, maybe its marriage equality, something on people’s minds, the anger that comes out when they drink,” said Dan Contarino, who believes that is how he became a victim of the latest anti-gay hate crime in New York City.

He says a man who he had seen before in the area where he lives, started yelling at him on the street near Avenue D in the East Village Monday night.

“Are you a f****t, things like that. Certain things I don’t usually like to publicly say. It just happened so quick, I’m still absorbing the shock,” he told PIX 11 News.

You can watch the video of the segment here.

While this report makes the attack seem random, The New York Times reported that Contarino and the man accused of the assault, 39-year-old Roman Gronell, who lives at the Bowery Mission, had know each other for the past month.

Via the Times:

The first attack took place late Monday after what began as an afternoon of drinking between two men, who had known each other about a month, turned violent, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said.

At around 10:45 p.m., as they walked near the Bowery Mission, where one of the men lives, they discussed the fact that one of them was gay. While the conversation was initially friendly, Mr. Kelly said, “suddenly, according to the victim, his assailant just snapped, became enraged and yelled antigay expletives.”

The Post has other details.

A few hours earlier, Dan Contarino and another man went out for drinks at the Yuca Bar on Avenue A and then to the Boiler Room, a gay bar on East Fourth Street, where they drank shots and beer, police said.

After a pizza stop at around 11 p.m., they started up a conversation about homosexuality while walking back to a homeless shelter where they both were staying.

That’s when the other man snapped.

Updated 9:30

WABC 7 reports that the NYPD made an arrest in the case.

Police say Gornell Roman was charged Wednesday with assault and aggravated harassment, both as hate crimes.

Roman is accused of yelling an anti-gay remark and attacking a drinking companion in the East Village on Monday. Roman and the victim, Dan Contarino, lived at a nearby homeless shelter.


Unknown said...

this is just terrible

Anonymous said...

Ugh. Coincidentally, wasn't Morales' last known address on Ave. D, too?

Heartening that neighbors came to his rescue.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Serious question here with respect to all of the recent anti-gay attacks: does anyone know if any/some/all of the perpetrators were drunk? I am just trying to figure out if there is a link between the two (not to suggest in the least that being druk is any excuse). Thank to anyone who can share some information or even pointme inthe right direction to try to figure it out.


Absolutely disgusting. This is New York City. If we can't be out and safe HERE, then where can we?

Anonymous said...

While the neighborhood has become more LGBT tolerant this is just a reminder that we have to stay on our toes and remember that no matter how much progress is made there is still a sizable group of people that are violently opposed.

Unfortunately, anti-LGBT hate crime is on the rise in the city overall. This is probably a reaction to the progress that has been made.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear this man was attacked, and I hope he makes a complete recovery. I also hope he knows that he has a lot of people out here in the East Village thinking of him and wishing we were there when it happened to help protect him.

Anonymous said...

This didn't happen when our city wasn't homogenized like it is now. I wonder of that has anything to do with it?

Anonymous said...

Deep in the NBC article you'll see that the attacker and victim had known each other for a month, and had been out together that evening. Not random.

Anonymous said...


Things are much better now for LGBT residents (and visitors) of the East Village than it was a couple of decades ago. But that may because of an overall decline in crime.

One theory about the recent rise in anti-gay hate crimes (which hopefully is just a statistically anomaly) is that more "conservative" (in the anti-gay sense) groups are threatened by the increased acceptance of LGBTs in the city/state/country and they are lashing out. Disproportionately, the perpetrators of these crimes are members of groups that traditionally have not been as accepting of LGBTs.

Education, education, education

Anonymous said...

I think that was poor reporting on NBC's part or on the part of the police commissioner who stated that "the two men had known each other for about a month and were out on the town together." According to the victim being interviewed on WPIX, he states it was a man he had seen in the neighborhood for about a month -- but they had no relationship. He just came up to him on the street, began yelling anti-gay slurs at him and beat him unconscious.

Anonymous said...

I've heard that a lot of assaults on gay men are done by closeted or deep-in-denial gay men. Certainly this is the case historically, and there's still plenty of dudes who, whether it's religious stuff or macho stuff or whatever, can't be honest with themselves, and so might, if they're the violent type, externalize their confusion and self-hatred by beating the bejeesus out of someone.

And then there's just a lot of assholes who hate gays and like to get drunk and hurt people. Take your pick, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable that things like this still happen. :(

Anonymous said...

Sad Sad, i've been to NYC many times but never walked any where after dark, took a cab..these bashers need to be taken off the streets, happening not just NYC but everywhere

Jill W. said...

These anti-gay assaults are definitely connected to the increasing acceptance of LGBTs, as Anon 7:07 pointed out. It's not just in the city/state/country though, it's worldwide. Attacks in Europe & the UK are on the rise now too. This is fascism's (hopefully) last gasp.

Another factor-- in the situation of Dan on 4th Street, years ago he might not have been comfortable reporting this crime. I wish him and the other victims a speedy recovery, both physically and mentally.

Anonymous said...

Not that it really matters, but what were they doing on Avenue D if they were going from 4th and A back to the Bowery? A little out of the way, no?

Anonymous said...

something about this just doesn't add up. if contarino is a famous gay nightclub promoter from Philly, why is he living in the same homeless shelter as the accuser. if they live in the same shelter and have known each other for a month, and were out drinking together from the afternoon till the incident at 10:45pm, this is not a random gay bashing as it was reporting. it was a fight between known people? right? the victim seems quite at home in front of the camera, doing interviews, etc. i predict we'll hear more come out on this.