Victim blogs about attacks at Stonewall Inn

October 5, 2010 8:27:03 PM PDT
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance's Hate Crimes Unit is investigating two separate attacks on gay men in Manhattan over the weekend.

The Stonewall Inn should be the safest, most welcoming gay bar in town.

But, early Sunday morning it proved the most dangerous as a 34-year-old customer was jumped by two men in the small bathroom.

Ben Carver had to get 3 stitches above his right eye.

The victim wrote in his blog about the attack, about the vicious anti-gay hatred, and about fighting back with all he had despite the odds.

"My entire body is sore from the attack, and I've got enough welts on my head to keep a low grade headache coming in all directions," Carver wrote.

Carver, who was visiting from DC told Eyewitness News he was back in the city Tuesday to receive a work related award.

While the beating has no doubt shaken the victim and the gay community at large, the location of this assault is particularly brazen.

The Stonewall Inn is considered ground zero for the gay rights movement.

It's been two days since the bathroom beating.

As Carver reflects on his blog: "We must be better than these bullies I forgave these men immediately. What I hope is that these men are given help to understand that all human life is precious and that violence is never acceptable."

Also, Just before midnight Friday, a group of friends was standing on the corner of West 25th Street and Ninth Avenue in Chelsea hugging and kissing each other goodbye.

Authorities say a group of at least five people yelled, "Go home f***ots; this is our neighborhood," before attacking the group, punching two of them in the head and throwing a metal garbage can at them.

One of the victims suffered a gash on his head that needed three staples to close. Another had a broken nose.

Those two were treated at Bellevue Hospital.

One arrest has been made.

Police say 20-year-old Andrew Jackson, of Chelsea, is charged with assault,attempted assault as a hate crime and gang assault.

He's being held on $10,000 bail.

At least four others are being sought.

The suspects are all from New York City and Boston.

Bar patrons and staff chased the suspects outside, where they were arrested by responding cops.

Both are from Staten Island and are charged with assault as a hate crime, attempted robbery and criminal possession of a weapon.

That incident happened at around 1:55 a.m. Sunday.

The Anti-Violence Project released a statement saying they are "especially saddened that this attack occurred at the Stonewall Inn, a longtime friend and ally of AVP's work, and most importantly, an enduring symbol of the resilience within New York's LGBTQ communities."

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn issued a statement and referred to the recent suicide of a gay Rutgers student: "In the wake of six recent suicides of LGBT youth, these hate crimes highlight the climate of homophobia that LGBT people face on a daily basis."

Ben Carver's Blog: http://www.bencarveronline.com/


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