New York Daily News Reports
A shocking video shows a gay man trying in vain to fend off two thugs who repeatedly punch and stomp him on a deserted Queens street.
Jack Price, 49, tries again and again to get to his feet and escape, only to have the cowards knock him back down in their brutal onslaught, the footage shows.
Two men have been arrested in the beatdown.
Daniel Aleman, 26, was nabbed Sunday night, and Daniel Rodriguez, 21, was captured Tuesday night in Norfolk, Va., police said.
The attackers walk away from Price at one point, only to return. One of them slugs Price one last time in the face before they leave for good, the video shows.
“From beginning to end, it was horrible,” said Price’s sister-in-law JoAnne Guarneri, 42. “Absolutely horrible.”
Price, somehow, manages to get to his feet and stumble off after last Thursday’s 4:30 a.m. attack.
Late Tuesday, however, he remained in critical condition at New York Hospital Queens, hooked up to a respirator. His lungs are collapsed and his jaw and ribs are broken.
“It’s a despicable crime,” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said of the assault in College Point, where the victim and his alleged attackers all live.
“The individual was attacked simply for his orientation, and we’re just not going to tolerate it in this city.”
Police captured Rodriguez after they learned through the Real Time Crime Center database he had relatives in Virginia. Norfolk detectives and the U.S. Marshals Service were mobilized, and NYPD officers were dispatched immediately.
“It basically helped us identify people connected with him. It helped us find out who to talk to,” said NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne about the database.
Aleman was ordered held on $20,000 bail Tuesday as he was arraigned on a charge of felony assault as a hate crime. Charges were pending against Rodriguez.
“As Americans, each of us is free to choose where and how we want to live our lives,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. “An illustrative example ofthat freedom is clearly Queens County, the most culturally diverse county in the nation. Crimes of hate will never be tolerated here.”
Price was mocked with anti-gay slurs by the two men as he was walking to a deli. When he left the store, the slurs continued, Brown said, and then the suspects attacked.
The video is from one of several surveillance cameras installed in the area by the College Point Board of Trade to deter graffiti.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) said the video illustrates the “hatred and bigotry” behind the beatdown. “I know the Queens community is outraged that hate has tainted their streets …,” said Quinn, who is a lesbian.
“I applaud the NYPD for taking swift action on this case.”