NYC Gay Couple Attacked In Hate Crime No Longer Feel Safe In Chelsea

Photo: WABC via NYDN

“Every time I walk down this street I think I’m blessed that I get to live on such a beautiful street in the city,” Perter Nortman, 53, told reporters as he handed out flyers with City Council Speaker and mayoral candidate Christine Quinn seeking information about the assault on him and his partner, Michael Felenchak, 27.

Nortman and Felenchak were attacked by a group of six men while walking home, hand-in-hand, from a date on West 24th St in the predominately gay neighborhood of Chelsea. According to a police source, one of the men had asked the couple, “What are you looking at, faggot?”

Nortman has lived in the gayborhood for some 20 years, but he now no longer feels safe there. “I’m not going to take that corner (for granted) anymore,” he said. “I’m going to walk up a little bit and see what’s going on. Because I was shocked that this happened on a street I called home.”

Nortman and Felenchak suffered minor injuries, but so far no suspects have been apprehended. NYPD released the following sketches of individuals wanted in connection with the assault:


Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at (866) 313-TIPS.

h/t: New York Daily News

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  • B Damion

    Why can’t these insecure punks just leave us the F alone. Just leave us alone. The chelsea area is a very well know area for us. So, those punks came into the area looking for trouble. I hope they find them and give them 25 to life in jail.

    This isshh has got to stop.

  • Brian

    These attacks illustrate why we shouldn’t concentrate our presence in so-called gayborhoods. It makes us an easy target. We need to stop ghetto-izing and start dispersing.

    Also, how about learning some self-defense?

  • balehead

    The problem is there are also attacks against straights in the same areas and this distortion is just frightening the horses….

  • Jfp

    Recommendation: kick peoples’ f*g ass. I was beat up once by one punk, since he was with several others, he was enjoying the moment. I followed them without being seen, then guess what? when all his friends left I approached the f*g moron and I gave him the worst nightmare he ever had. I’ve seeing him around sometimes and since then he’s been trying to be polite. So, I am not a violent person but it seems that giving those morons the same treatment, they will learn to respect others. BTW, he was older than me.

  • Nyruinz


    Brian my heart goes out to these men, however I find it really odd that these men were attacked in Chelsea because they were gay. I have seen many of incidents where gay men have been the cause of altercations, yet when it escalates they assumed it became physical because they were gay. Not saying that these men were at fault but I know many gay men have a tendency to be rude, nasty and sarcastic always looking to read someone. There are two sides to a story, and I believe there is more to this story.

  • Tackle

    @Nyruinz: Wow. That’s a whole different outlook definitely worth considering.

  • Stache1

    @Nyruinz: What an asinine thing to say. No where but from you have I heard that. If you have some evidence where this is happening please provide links.

  • Teleny

    The West side has become pretty seedy. On Christopher street near the West side highway a weird mix of down low thugs & “straight” men who seem to also be in nefarious types of business lurk. The police seem to be oblivious. The West side could use some better police presence.

  • Daniel-Reader

    This definitely makes the people who support open carry laws seem more reasonable when you cannot even walk down the street – gay or straight – without getting attacked.

  • Kangol

    I think these attacks are a result of the increased prominence and fearlessness of LGBTQ people, but that doesn’t mean we should back down, but rather keep pushing forward, fighting, demanding that homophobes like these two attackers be prosecuted, and not ever let anti-gay, heterosexist attitudes dominate society again.

    Sometimes the backlash takes the form of individual attacks, sometimes it takes the form of state-supported homophobia as Russia is demonstrating, sometimes the churches (Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, evangelical Christianity, Wahabi Islam, etc.), but as brave people before us have shown over and over, the fight must continue.

    As we used to say in the 1980s during the anti-gay hysteria that arose after the AIDS pandemic took hold, and there were gaybashings in NYC and elsewere, “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it” and “Bash back!”

  • Kieran

    Another brutal attack on gay men in New York City and we get the usual SILENT SHRUG from the mainstream media. Why? Would the media be impotently shruging if black people were being subjected to racial attacks by whites in NYC? And why is it only Christine Quinn, a gay woman, who is showing real outrage over these attacks on gay men? A month away from the election, the Community needs to ask: Why aren’t the hetero candidates running for mayor raising their voices?

  • Kangol


    Would you stop it with this “if black people were being subjected to racial attacks”? The media is on this, but black people are attacked with impunity by the New York Police Department, and the media “shrugs.” Stop pitting LGBTQ people against gay people. Many LGBTQ people ARE black, brown, etc. Just stop it.

    The NY media were on this. They have covered most of the major anti-gay attacks, and not just momentarily.

    And Christine Quinn could care less about most gay people if they aren’t rich. She’s probably only on this because she’s flailing badly in the campaign. She didn’t say peep when the hospital, St. Vincent’s, that thousands of New Yorkers, especially LGBT New Yorkers dealing with HIV/AIDS, was destroyed to build condos for billionaires. She has gone missing over and over again when it comes to anything for the middle and working classes, including LGBTQs.

  • Kieran

    Sorry Kangol but I tell it like it is. If you can’t handle the truth don’t read my posts.

  • Tackle

    @kangol:Good post. It’s unfortunate that some people do try to put GLBTQ against Blacks and vice-versa. It’s foolish to forget that GLBTQ are a rainbow of people and not one color.One would think that they would want to bring people together. But no. They are just too damned miserable. You told it like it is. They think they know the truth, but are so far from it.

  • john

    only if those who did this are strictly punished then others with that mentality might change their attitude towards gay people!!

  • EvonCook

    @Nyruinz: Brian with this comment and the one above, you have minor points but come across as an assimilationist with a kind of blame the victim attitude. You certainly are right, there are two sides to every story, but perpetuating violence has no defensible side. Panic defense anyone? Or standing up for one’s image, religion, or just macho swagger and impressing the buds? Flamboyant behavior can be very annoying and provoking, and there are certainly gay people who are not considerate and even obnoxious in public (just try these things in suburbia or the backwoods far from a gayborhood as you suggest, and see what you get). No necessity to ghettoize, but at least our neighborhoods are usually more liberal, progressive and have a degree of camaraderie that discourages exhibitions of violence and bigotry, although oddly I don’t know if this is true of lesbian communal concentrations.

  • EvonCook

    Sorry Brian, I conflated your comment with NYruinz.

  • EvonCook

    @Kangol: No, Kangol, I think you are altogether wrong. Always good to keep a public view and comparison of discrimination, hate and bigotry against various groups, not so that there is a competition for victimhood, but so that one can vividly point up the common elements and demonstrate progress for one group should help others. Very interestingly, it is so often victimized groups who are the most discriminatory to others as soon as they get the chance. Pilgrims coming to America for religious freedoms? lol. Do human beings never learn and empathize? We used to be advised “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” Since Bush and the seemingly inevitability of the self righteous, what is now expected is called “blowback.” Idealism gives way to reality.

  • EvonCook

    @Kangol: Apologies guys, Kangol, one more point –I think you are really selling Quinn short. The St. Vin Hospital was a REAL ESTATE deal with politicians and if you want someone to mobilize and fight against in this city, it is the ugly and greedy power of the real estate industry, landlords and developers who buy most of our politicians: Governor, Albany, etc. First there should be universal rent regulation, stop all the write offs, subsidies and deductions for these creeps, curb their political power and write laws so that they make half as much money and serve the public interest twice as much. Now, that would make New York a much better city for the rest of us and limit these parasites from using and abusing and walking away rich, greedy andcorrupt as Croesus.

  • balehead

    So many activists…so little time to hold jobs….

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