Exclusive: Man speaks out after possible bias attack in Hell's Kitchen

HELL'S KITCHEN, Manhattan (WABC) -- A man was attacked in Manhattan by a group of men while walking with a friend Saturday. Now, police are investigating this as a possible bias attack.

Eyewitness News spoke to the victim of the attack exclusively.

Brandon Ballone doesn't remember much about the attack that left his ear torn, wrist slashed, and jaw locked.

The 25-year-old Queens man says he was walking with a friend in Hell's Kitchen around 2 a.m. when without warning, he was attacked by a group of men.

"As we passed them, they must've come up behind me with a glass bottle they had in their hand," Ballone said. "When I covered my face from the blows it tore a tendon in my hand."

Ballone suspects he was attacked because he and his friend are gay, but he says his attackers never uttered a word.

"My friend is short and very flamboyant, wearing nail polish and stuff and I do drag. I was wearing one of my own T-shirts that I sell," Ballone said. "Maybe they looked at my T-shirt and thought, 'these are bunch of fruitcakes.'"

Ballone performs as a drag queen and his many followers have sent him messages online wishing him a speedy recovery.

Despite needing four weeks to recover, he plans to be back on stage soon.

"I don't want this to bring me down. I still have a lot of goals here that I need to continue," Ballone said. "I can't stay home and look at the same four walls over and over. Emotionally, that's not going to help me."
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