BY BAO ONG
The New York Times
A beating last week that left a gay man in Queens hospitalized, in fair but stable condition, has prompted condemnation by local leaders. A 26-year-old man was arrested in the attack.
Led by the City Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, a Manhattan Democrat who is openly gay, city and state officials gathered in front of Booth Memorial Hospital on Monday to denounce the attack, which they called a hate crime.
The victim, Jack Price, 49, had left a deli after buying cigarettes in College Point, Queens, early Friday morning when he received a number of antigay comments and was attacked. He is in fair condition, according to a hospital spokeswoman, and police said he is undergoing treatment for a fractured jaw, rib fractures and a lacerated spleen.
Daniel Aleman, 26, was arrested over the weekend and faces two charges: assault and aggravated assault as a hate crime. Police said they were looking for a second suspect, Daniel Rodriguez, 21, on Monday evening.
The news “smacked particularly hard,” said Ms. Quinn, who had just come back to New York after joining gay rights supporters on Sunday in the National Equality March on Washington.
“You grow tired of doing these press conferences,” said Ms. Quinn. She added that “crimes like this are very sad” and that “these two hateful, ignorant individuals represent a minority of New Yorkers.”
Council member John C. Liu of Queens, who is the Democratic candidate for city comptroller, called for witnesses to step up to help authorities solve this “absolutely atrocious” crime.
The number of violent cases involving gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender victims is climbing, according to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, which tracks such cases.
This is not the first time a gay-related hate crime has unfolded in Queens. In 2001, Edgar Garzon was attacked outside of a gay club in Jackson Heights, Queens, and died from his injuries. Near the same location in 1990, another man, Julio Rivera, was killed “because he was gay,” as one of the defendants in the case later said.
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