Blake Hayes (pictured, top), the NYC radio entertainment reporter who was gay bashed in September, and blames the NYPD for doing all but nothing in investigating his attack, ended up with some major media attention. But better than that? It appears his alleged attacker might finally be brought to justice. He just happens to be an Air Force “hero” stationed in England.
Air Force Staff Sgt. Benjamin Ford (pictured, right), a bomb diffusion expert, received a Bronze Star. In September, however, he was on duty in New York when President Obama visited the United Nations, and that’s where he and two friends allegedly attack Hayes and others. So how’d he get tracked down? The News knows:
The Hate Crimes Task Force was assigned to the case and eventually identified Ford as the suspect and learned he was assigned to an Air Force base five hours outside London.
A NYPD Intelligence Division detective who is stationed in London drove to the base and interviewed Ford, who admitted he was at the scene but insisted his alleged victims started the fight, a source said.
Surveillance video, however, shows Ford attacking them, the source told the Daily News.
As for punishment, while Ford hasn’t been formally charged (um, why’s that again?), “the NYPD and Manhattan prosecutor’s office, after consulting the three gay victims, have agreed to let the U.S. military try Ford and dole out any punishment if he is found guilty in the attack.” Which means this could go two ways: The military could give him a slap on the wrist and hope the controversy goes away. Or, faced with what is now an international spectacle of alleged anti-gay violence at the hands of a military hero, they could use Ford to set an example, and punish him to the fullest extent of military law. Which is a bitch.