Did BlackBook‘s Nick Haramis Actually Start the Corner Bistro Bashing?

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TURN OF EVENTS — That alleged gay bashing at New York’s Corner Bistro with BlackBook magazine editor Nick Haramis that had us raging this week? Turns out Haramis, or someone in his group, might have been the one to instigate the violence by laying the first hand.

A quick recap: Haramis claimed on the night of Jan. 31, his boyfriend, another friend, and himself tried to sit down at a table at Corner Bistro (soon to be joined by two other friends), but was told by a staffer they had to order food in order to sit. And then things got out of control. Haramis wrote: “The man then grabbed the back of [Haramis’ boyfriend’s] shirt, at which point I reached in, instinctively, to take his hand away. I was then thrown down, the side of my head the last thing to hit the ground. There was some confusion as my boyfriend tried to stop the whole thing, and was then punched in the face, while the Bistro worker screamed ‘faggots’ a few times, for good measure.”

But new video surveillance footage of the evening suggests a different story — that Haramis, intervening just a few seconds after the employee and his boyfriend started talking, actually grabbed the employee by his neck in the first instance of physical contact. Only then did the employee react, shoving Haramis to the ground and starting the scuffle.

We’re not video experts, but we played the clip back a number of times, and it appears that’s what happened. The photo above highlights what appears to be the first instance of physical contact between anybody — and it shows Haramis placing his hand on the employee’s neck.

Was the employee justified in throwing around the word “faggot,” as Haramis claims he did? No. But Haramis left out a very crucial part to this story. Namely, that it was he who initiated the physical element. From the video it’s all but impossible to tell when the shouting started, or what words were thrown around, but we can all agree there’s a difference between fighting words and actual fighting.

The notes in this clip’s YouTube page say: “Hidden video of what really happen on Jan 31. Employee was attack first and struck back. This video evidence clearly shows that he was shove in the face or neck first. So who drew First Blood? This is why Nick didn’t file a lawsuit because the video clearly show him smacking the waiter first.”

Sounds like a certain editor needs to post another update on this story.