Gay Couple Brutally Assaulted For Holding Hands In NYC Say 50 People Watched, Did Nothing

Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 11.40.46 AMWe reported yesterday the story of another violent NYC hate crime that led to a gay man having his nose broken and eye socket fractured.

According to police, the man in this sketch approached the 39-year-old victim on the West 4th Street subway platform around 12:30am on March 2 (Saturday night) and “punched the victim in his face” after asking if he and his partner were gay.

I explicitly stated that as a resident of New York City, it was hard to believe that these three men were the only ones standing on a busy Manhattan subway platform on Saturday night. As is the case with almost every hate crime in New York City’s public areas, there had to be more people around to witness the attack — why doesn’t anyone ever follow these suspects on foot and report to the police? How the hell does a man punch someone in the face, cause an obvious disturbance on a subway platform that most likely held dozens of commuters, and run away unnoticed?

Turns out I was right. The victim, J.P. Masterson, and his partner Peter Moore, were interviewed by CBS New York last night and claim “there were about 50 people on the platform at the time” who witnessed the attack. Not one of them made an attempt to help or follow the suspect.

“I want my New Yorkers to step up and help me out, because, you know, at the end of the day, we’re all just people,” Masterson said.

The couple also provided some additional details from the evening, noting that they had been celebrating their 10th anniversary and were most likely attacked because they were holding hands.

“He was like, I fucking hate faggots,” Masterson said. “He just came at me in two seconds, and then he started shoving me towards the tracks.” “My heart just fell, you know, I mean, we were on such a high from the weekend,” Moore added.

Masterson says he has trouble breathing as the result of “multiple fractures in my face, eye socket and nose.”

“I can’t believe this happened in my city that I grew up in,” he said. “The West Village is where I first came out and explored and felt accepted…the fact that it’s now a danger zone.”

To give you some perspective, this attack happened steps away from where a gay man was shot and killed last May.

The NYPD is asking anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.


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  • gskorich

    what happened to these guys was wrong and for the 50 or so people that looked on thats too bad. look at your surroundings, yes you should be able to hold the hand of your loved one when you want but is it necessary to do so at 12:30 am waiting for a train?

  • EricNYCity

    “yes you should be able to hold the hand of your loved one when you want but is it necessary to do so at 12:30am waiting for the train?

    @gskorich… what an absurd response! You should be able to hold your partner’s hand anywhere and at any time in NYC. Would you say the same to straight couples?

  • gskorich

    @EricNYCity: i’d say it to anyone who was doing something that might endanger them. you never know who is around you, what movie do you live in where gays and thugs live in harmony in any city.

  • TerrenM

    @gskorich: You said it perfectly, at first. ‘Yes you should be able to hold the hand of your loved one WHEN YOU WANT’. If this story is true, it’s horrendous. Guarantee I’ll hold my boyfriend’s hand at 12:30am waiting for a train, walking into a movie theater at 3pm or walking into a pro basketball game at 7pm. My point is, with 13 years of Brazilian jiu jitsu under my belt, they better bring a gun!

  • gskorich

    @TerrenM: EXACTLY!! know your surroundings and be prepared. know how to defend yourself. what did the boyfriend do in response to his boyfriend getting punched?

  • foulmouthgandhi

    Hard to believe in NYC that no one would help. In 2003 a street vendor was being harassed outside the Museum of Natural History. I was out with my best friend and her 12 year old daughter. We came out of the museum and a bunch of kids were harassing the poor guy. Stealing his potato chip rack, throwing the soda cans off of his cart and just generally terrorizing him. No one but me and the 12 year old stepped into help. Now, I am not a big woman, but I just could NOT stand and watch this happen and NOT do anything. Needless to say I was so proud of the young lady I was with, she showed a lot of moxie and compassion.
    Shame on those people. How could you stand there and watch innocent people be brutalized by a baseless hostile reaction to affection? – That is not the kind of New Yorker I am, would want to be or want to share this city with.

  • Black Pegasus

    Why do gay people continually allow themselves to be victimize by these homophobes? If you are a man you should be able to defend yourself in a hand to hand altercation. Stop being a weak sissy and learn how to kick some ass! You do to have to be a MMA fighter to fight back!

  • Black Pegasus

    ** You DON’T have to be a MMA fighter to fight back**

  • spencer87

    @Black Pegasus: THIS! I mean it’s a shame what happened,but come on! When are we going to learn? Take some damn self defense classes and/or get a license to carry a weapon.Atleast a stun gun.This is NYC. What did the bf do while he was getting attacked? I wanna know.

  • CCTR

    It is such a shame that the victims are being blamed here. I hope the perpetrator is caught and justice is served.

  • Stache1

    The thug picked someone who looked like they wouldn’t fight back. The guy does look pretty thin and thus easy prey. They wouldn’t start anything if they felt the guys could defend themselves.

  • Stache1

    @foulmouthgandhi: I’m the same as you. I couldn’t live with myself if I just stood around watching someone get assaulted. At the very effing least you follow them while calling the police.

  • jar

    @Black Pegasus: Yeah, blame the victim! That’s the way. I would not allow someone to attack me without fighting back, but that doesn’t mean that it’s someone’s fault for being attacked. It appears you are projecting your own anxiety about being perceived as weak because you are gay onto this couple.

  • gskorich

    @jar: who is blaming the victim? what happened was bad, we all agree on that but if you feel the need to hold your boyfriends hand on a subway platform at midnight chances are you better be ready to defend your right to hold hands, not good not bad. what did the boyfriend do while all this was going on?

  • corey

    I hope there is video, one so they can get the attackers and two so the faces of those watching can be posted all over. Though, there is a real reason why people don’t get involved, actually, the more people there are, the less chance of anyone stepping in. It a proven “phenomenon”. It’s all bullshit to me, but it happens. Though I am the kind of asshole who had been involved many times when something happens and believe you me, it doesn’t usually end up good for the intervener. Though, it never stops me, I hate bullies and maybe because I was bullied so much I automatically react, maybe the heros if futures event like this will be others gay or straight that have been bullied are refuse to sit by and do nothing. Also, people see how police sometimes treat the innocent in a fight, they get shot and killed sometimes. Also, I find when black people are involve, or “inner city” kids, the nice upper-class white snobs never get involved. Even living in Boston, where there are many people of different skin tones, if a black person or city teen is the aggressor in any way, most white folks, actually all white folks when I have seen this, walk away or look the other way, even people that you see on a daily basis. It’s so abserd that when I talk to a female about being verbally yelled at by a white dude in my area, I tell them a) it’s unfortunate because your a woman the dude feels he can do it and b) if you were with a big black guy, no white bully man will verbally attack a lone woman. Though I say it jokingly I also I mean it, which is sad, it shows just how far more we have to go for equality for all people. People in Arizona and those who support anti-gay things know but don’t care that there is this ripple effect in other parts if the country and world from their actions!

  • corey

    @gskorich: u seem to miss the part about thinking u are safe because u have never had a problem before, never seen a problem before. It’s like telling the people in “Mayberry USA” to start looking all their doors, don’t let’ the kids out of your sight, always carry gun…etc. it may seem odd to think people assume they are safe in their neighborhood, but this is America, and no one should have to live in a place, where they have to stand and not move, look ahead, make no eye contact, don’t start a conversation, follow the rules, have your ID ready if stopped….like Nazi Germany !!

  • gskorich

    @corey: are you kidding me right now? a person should always be aware of their surroundings. being at certain places at certain times of the day bring out certain people. i’m not sure but i don’t think you live in a large metropolitan area do you?

  • Stache1

    @corey: I REALLY would love to hear of a gay Bernhard Goetz story. I consider shooting them in the back self defense too. Eff em.

  • balehead

    This story seems to be a bit fishy….

  • connor larkin

    @Black Pegasus:

    BLACK MAMBA, Who do you think you are? Richie Incognito, Rambo, John Wayne or Jonathan Martin?
    Cowards, especially thugs, run in packs as do all chickenturds.

    Why don’t you go to Oakland or say Memphis and singly clean up the grandmothers, women, chldren and transgender murder problem.

    A Monday morning Quarterback? Talk is CHEAP.

  • justaguy999

    Ok, here are a few tips from someone that lives in NYC and takes the train at that station EVERYDAY. (Actually, I just came from there)
    1) ALWAYS BE AWARE! NYC, subway or on the street, is very busy. People coming and go at all times of the day, not all of them law abiding. AND do not think that because someone is WHITE or FEMALE, that you are safe. Dangers comes in all races and genders. With this, not all attacks are conducted by “packs”. Most are, but some happen with one or two people. (my secret tip is to be careful of women with men. Women are known to start a lot of issues with gay men. “You see that fag over there, you just gonna let him sit there, and not do anything? What you some type of buttfucker too?”) I heard this very exchange a few months ago on 14th street in the Village.
    2) If you live in NYC, PEPPER SPRAY is LEGAL to carry. Gun permits in the city are very hard to get, and you cannot get a licence to carry or conceal as it is against the law. You can do a quick internet search to find a licensced dealer of pepper spary, usually a Pharmacy. A container, small enough to fit in your pocket, costs about $17.00. It is easy to use, and works perfectly when directed at an attacker’s eyes, nose and mouth. Spray…and get away! The best part is that it creates a cloud large enough to effect a mid sized group of people.I purchased 8 a few years ago and gave them out to my gay male friends. You should replace them at least every 2-3 as they start to loose their full effect over time.
    3) Public displays of affection are great, but take care when and where you do them. Dangers are common. Yes, we SHOULD be able to hold hands when and wherever we want, but as this case, and others show, violence may be put into the mix. Along with this, some of you need to shut your mouth. This is not the time to be fierce, or give an LGBT history lesson about how words hurt and so on. Bigots and thugs are not trying to hear your rainbow view of the world.
    4) Pick your companions well! I too would like to know what the boyfriend, who is MUCH bigger, was doing during this attack. Even your friends need to be able to help out. The victim and many posters are wondering what the people on the platform were doing, but the only one that had a DUTY to protect and be involved was his man of the last decade. It is unreasonable to expect total strangers to look out for you in a big city. Take a look at YOUTUBE videos where people will tape a beating, but won’t help out. Would be nice, but asking someone to follow an attacker is crazy. You are asking him/her to put themselves into danger as well. Not going to happen.
    5) Stop thinking that places like The Village, Chelsea or Hell’s Kitchen, in NYC or other “gay areas” around the country are gay. These areas in NYC are now very straight and very rich and white. Not gay. anymore.
    6)Taking a self-defense course would be great…if you can find one. In NYC and the tri-state area, not one self-defense class takes men. NOT ONE! They only take women, transgenders and boys under the age of 14 at most. Once you hit puberty you are not allowed inside. My suggestion is to take a boxing class, and get a gym membership to help you with stamina and the ability to run.
    7) Finally, the best defense is an amazing offense. You have two eyes, and two ears, USE THEM. Most dangers can be spotted well before they happen if you are paying attention. If you read all of the old cases of abuse, the people always talk about how they “never expected it to happen to then”. Anyone of us can be victimized by crime, but being a victim is a choice. NO sun glasses at night, don’t drink/drugs more than you can handle, know your limit. Don’t use your headphones or display IPODS, or computers. And most of all, DON”T space out and DAY Dream. Be present in your life, at all times. Along with this, don’t ever let strangers get into you personal space. An attacker is limited by his arm’s reach, unless he has a gun or knife. Distance is your friend.
    And before you go. Sometimes there is nothing you can do, you may be victimized but criminals look for easy targets. They do not want a fight, so use these tips, stand up tall, look around and look into people faces so you can identify them if you are attacked, and most of all DO NOT BE AFRAID TO FIGHT BACK, if you think you can win…But esp if you think you may be killed. This may save your life.

    Be safe my brothers!

  • Desert Boy

    I have long advocated carrying a firearm. I know the whistle blower crowd will be outraged but your whistle won’t do anything to stop an attack. The post says 50 people watched and did nothing and this was in the so-called liberal city of New York.

    Get armed girls. Licensed, trained and learn to protect yourself and your family.

  • justaguy999

    @Desert Boy: Not legal in NYC. Permits are very hard to get, and it is illegal to carry a concealed weapon.

  • EGO

    Where are the security cameras? The NYPD should be able to identify the purp(s), unless they forgot to clean the lens. :>)

  • justaguy999

    @EGO: NYC has one of the oldest subway/transit systems in the world. Within the last few years, due to alleged needs to cut costs, even as ridership has increased, as well as fairs, we have had massive closings of manned booths as well as a lack of increase in security cameras. Most stations have no cameras, some have broken ones, but most only have cameras at the actual turnstile entrances/exits. To be honest, even the clocks in that station are broken, rats run along the tracks, homeless people sit on the benches and tourist stand around and block arteries.

    Where this attack happened is actually very far from the entrance, and is situated around a very long platform that stretches 3 city blocks, is an access point to the A,C,E,D,B,F train lines and more than 5 separate exits that span a 4 block radius, on 3 levels, tunneling deep under the city street.

    The West 4th street station, which does have WI-FI, is also one of the largest NON-HUB stations, connecting riders with subways that can take them around all five boroughs. This station is is a massive labryanth. It is not May Berry.

    And there is no need to look for “PURPS” as over and over again, ONE WHITE POLISH speaking male has been identified as the suspect with a sketch being circulated.

  • justaguy999

    @Stache1: In Newark NJ, around 10 years ago, I guess, we did see a young black lesbian fight back (guess where this is going). It was late at night on a major street, which was pretty empty at the time. Shakera Gunn, I think I spelled that right, got into a fight with a man that she claims attacked her and her group of female friends when they ignored their advances and said they were lesbians.

    One of the guys, got out of his car, and hit her, she “defended” herself, but he was gravely injured. She was found guilty of attempted murder and now sits in prison. Protests and appeals abound, but still she is locked up.

    In the law we have something called “reasonable force”. This means that if you are attacked, you have the right to use reasonable force to defend yourself, but nothing more. For example: if someone punches you in the face, you don’t have the legal right to shoot and kill them. If you shoot them in the back, which means the suspect was fleeing, you will face murder charges.

    I understand these attacks make us scared and cringe but over reactions will only put us in jail, or get us killed. And for all of you talking about guns, outside of the fact that in NYC we have very stiff gun laws, permits are hard to get, and it is illegal to carry a concealed weapon, but most importantly do you really want someone shooting a gun, most likely for the first time, inside of a crowded subway station. I live in NYC…my reality, and your fantasies of revenge SCARE ME. Pepper spray, which is legal would have helped this situation, as well as the other tips I outlined.

  • Stache1

    @justaguy999: Thanks for the great advise. Next time some thugs come after me looking to do me harm I’ll go over a list of my “reasonable force” options that you’ve been good enough to outline. I sure wouldn’t want the thug to suffer any “unreasonable” pain and find myself in trouble.

    Pepper spray is good but unless you can haul around something the size of what Dog the Bounty Hunter carries it’s doubtful it will be enough to stop an attack. Then again maybe you’ll get lucky and have a good aim.

    I’d love to hear of a story of someone firing a gun at one of them. However, having a good sharp knife at hand would be a good idea too. If they’re determined to have a piece of you make them bleed for it.

  • justaguy999

    @Stache1: thank you for your reply. I will now make sure NEVER to give any educated advise to gay men (without being well paid, which I have been doing for a living for over 20 years), since you have all the wrong answers.

    You might want to research what happened to your hero Bernie Getze, it is not pretty, as he is sitting in jail right now after decades of poverty.

    I wish I could take my tips down. But, you LEARNED me but good STACHE1. I will keep my opinions and “great advise” to myself from this moment on. God forbid someone learns how to keep themselves safe, or know the law.

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