New York City police have released a
17-second surveillance video of two men beating Damian Furtch.
The 26-year-old Furtch was attacked in
the West Village on Sunday outside a McDonald's restaurant.
Furtch, an aspiring actor and model,
had just ended his shift at the nearby Pink Tea Cup Restaurant, when
he was attacked around 4:30AM. He's told police that the men yelled
anti-gay slurs as they punched him. Police say the attack is being
investigated as a hate crime.
“My friend and I were at the local
McDonalds ordering food when I noticed two men staring at us,”
told GLAAD. “My friend and I ordered our food and waited for
our order to be filled. I stepped outside to make a phone call in an
effort to avoid the tension in the restaurant and remove myself from
the situation. The two gentlemen stepped out after me and asked if I
had a problem. I told one of them that I had stepped out just to use
the phone and had no problem with him or his three friends. Then, all
of a sudden the second gentleman hit me on the right side of my face
causing me to stumble. Then I felt three punches to the face.”
(The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)
Furtch an his co-worker walked to
Roosevelt Hospital where he was treated and released.
“The attack against me is part of the
larger issue of violence against gay and transgender people in New
York City,” he added. “This has to stop. Under no circumstances
should a person be attacked for their sexual orientation.”
New York City Council Speaker Christine
Quinn, who is openly lesbian, said the attack was especially
upsetting since it happened “in a neighborhood where the LGBT civil
rights movement was really born.”
“Some people still think that hate
crimes are kind of a joke in New York City, that it's just some type
of adult bullying that doesn't have any consequences and we want
people to know that that is simply not true,” Quinn told 1010 WINS.
“We are not going to allow you to attack people because of who
they are or who they think you are.”