This Man Was Left Partially Paralyzed In a Gay Bashing. Now He’s Thanking His Attacker


Nearly four years ago in Brooklyn’s Brownsville area, Steven Pomie nearly beat Dwan Prince (pictured) to death for coming on to him. Pomie attacked Prince once, then came back for a second round with a cohort, and returned for a third assault only to be stopped by witnesses. By that point, Prince was unconscious. So how come Prince is now lobbying for a light sentence of his attacker? It might have something to do with Prince blaming himself for the anti-gay attack.

We can’t imagine the terror Prince felt that night, when Pomie felt so threatened by another man’s flirting he felt the need to physically beat the gay out of him. But we cannot fathom thanking our attacker for nearly ending our life.

But that’s what Prince, 31, who has no memory of the attack, did in a letter to Pomie. And even though Prince has been left partially paralyzed from the assault, he says he worked with the prosecutors office on a more lenient sentence.

And if that weren’t bizarre enough, he suggests when Pomie, 26, gets out of prison, the two can be friends.

It took a jury less than a day of deliberating to convict Pomie on charges of first-degree assault and first-degree assault as a hate crime; he was sentenced to 25 years. An appeals court reversed the conviction in 2008, threw out the first-degree assault charge, and ordered Pomie retried on second-degree charges; Pomie is in prison awaiting retrial. Reports Gay City News‘ Duncan Osborne:

Prince was a witness at the first trial, though he has no memory of the assault. His testimony illustrated the devastating results of the attack. His more sympathetic posture toward Pomie could sway a jury. While the assault left Prince partially paralyzed, he blamed himself.

“I was at blame so it is my to my strongest degree that you get out as soon as possible,” Prince wrote.

“Steve you changed me!” Prince wrote. “So hopefully when you get out we can hang out. You know me. I know you. I help you calm that angry machine down. And allow you to know I am not gay but a lover, and you can find me a female I can love and can love me.”

Prince has been attending a Bible study class at the Riverside Church, a liberal congregation, but he said he has not discussed his changed sexual orientation there.

“I am looking to change my life these days,” Prince, who is HIV-positive, told Gay City News. “I am looking for a female who I can marry and have my sperm washed and have children… With me going to church, I feel myself that I must try to live by the Bible, I must try to live by God’s law.”

It appeared at a July 13 hearing that Pomie and the Brooklyn district attorney were negotiating a plea deal, but that seems to have collapsed. The two sides, at an August 4 hearing, set a trial date for September 1.

When his conviction was reversed, Pomie was transferred from the state prison system to Rikers Island where he remains, unable to make bail. Prince did not know if Pomie had received his letter and he is considering sending him a second.

“I want him to know that, if he read or if he didn’t read it, I want him to know my emotion and feeling behind what happened,” Prince said. “I want him to know my true emotion and love for him. There is a God that looks over everybody and he raised me from death and Steven was not able to kill me… I don’t hate him for trying to kill me.”

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  • TheWorld

    Unfortunately for Mr. Prince, I think between the beating and Bible study, he’s become a little delusional: “I am looking for a female who I can marry and have my sperm washed and have children…” The guy is HIV+, so children are unlikely, and sperm washing? Alas, the church strikes again.

  • Bob

    Total nut job!!! Let the breeders have him…we don’t need self hating people like that!!!

  • Kid A

    That Ann Coulter poster staring at him is a bit more metaphorical than I’d like to think…

  • anonymous

    That must have been one hot number he flirted with if the fact his basher doing 25 years is keeping him up at night. The way I was to understand it the guy not only attacked him twice but was coming back for round three when people who had first cheered him on intervened and pulled the attacker away as he laid on the ground unconscious.

    Unbelievable. But let us not forget that without knowing what type of upbringing this person had it is very hard to determine his reasoning. We are all products of our upbringing. Self hatred in this poor child is etched in stone in his mind.

  • Synnerman

    Jesus has caused more misery than cured.

  • cufflinks

    Remember General Hospital in the eighties? Luke raped Laura and then they became “Luke and Laura.” This is the gay version.

  • niles

    Be kind, he obviously suffered brain damage.

  • stephen kay

    I wonder who is more dangerous the attacker or the victim.The victim endangers all of us by not fighting back legally.

  • Rick

    “I am looking for a female who I can marry and have my sperm washed…”

    And I was thinking that women only washed clothes and dishes…

  • Kasio Q

    They deserve each other.

  • JV

    Partially paralyzed? I think this is more like a brain damage. Maybe he is just playing straight-dumb to be this guy’s friend and touch him inappropriately.

  • glen

    I prefer to believe this is a devious revenge plot – it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside! :)

  • Fitz

    Sad. I wonder if he was such a sack before the dain bramage. Next thing you know, he will be defending Bruno.

  • terrwill

    This nutjob needs to head to aisle #7 and pick up a box of

  • Kevin

    Nicely put, Stephen Kay
    This idiocy is a huge step back for our movement and may empower bigotry

  • B.

    TheWorld wrote, “Unfortunately for Mr. Prince, I think between the beating and Bible study, he’s become a little delusional: “I am looking for a female who I can marry and have my sperm washed and have children…” The guy is HIV+, so children are unlikely, and sperm washing? Alas, the church strikes again.”

    From his perspective, forgiving his attacker will get him brownie points at his (probably homophobic) church, convincing them he is really a devout Christian in spite of his “sinful” past.

    It’s very easy to design an effective sperm-washing machine – you funnel the “sperm to be washed” into a medical-waste container and replace it with sperm from a healthy donor. He’ll never know, but will feel better about it.

  • yuk

    Brainwashed by a gay-hating black church.

  • Dennis

    This poor, poor deluded man has been bashed twice. First, by his attacker, and then by the institutionalized homophobia of the black church.

    Ultimately, his tragic case is just more proof of the barbaric effects of homophobia and religious persucution of gay people.

    Yeah, let those assholes try to use him as a poster boy…”this man had ‘the gay’ beaten out of him…see, conversion therapy works”…and see what kind of positive PR mileage they get out that atrategy. Fail.

  • schlukitz

    This is positively the sickest thing I have ever heard.

    Gimme sommore of that good, ole-time religion.

    *shaking head in disbelief*

  • rudy

    @B.: He’s not getting this lunacy from Riverside Church:
    “The Riverside Church reaffirms the equality of all God’s children and further recognizes that all holy unions between committed, loving adults are of equal value in God’s sight. Therefore, the Riverside community, for church purposes, will recognize all such couples as married…”

  • t money

    poor guy. cant help but feel sorry for him. he obviously has serious brain damage. but i dont think its the churches doing. isnt it a LIBERAL chucrch?

    there is more to the story than this. poor guy. he needs serious help.

    let the bashed stay in jail. he does us no good on the streets.

  • Rob

    @Dennis: Dennis, you may want to re frame that to “the institutionalized homophobia of the CHURCH”. Black churches don’t have the market cornered on homophobia, although to me (as a gay, black male) the iron-clad belief in and attachment to an institution of religion that was introduced to black folks keep us subservient during slavery is depressing and sick when you really, and I mean REALLY think about it.

  • Justme

    Is this guy for real! After getting my azz kick in by not one but 3 guys. Now he is feeling sorry for the guy who almost killed him. Well he is not the one to blame the CHURCH is they are the devils. What book are these people reading from. This man was totally brain wash or brain damage. I rather go with the first. The CHURCH is the evil one. That why i stay far away from it.

  • Helga von ornstein

    For those of you who have Vista click on Page, scroll down to Zoom and magnify this page to 200 or better. Then take a closer look at him.

    I think this guy is mildly retarded or the beating left him in that state. I do hope he sought counseling after his attack but somehow I doubt it. I am sorry for generalizing him and I am even sorrier if it appears a racial generalization but I do stick with my belief.

    His present actions suggest something is clearly wrong somewhere and I think it all points to him. Maybe he was high or drunk when he flirted with this guy. I know I am trying to find something to pinpoint his actions but this is just insanity at it’s worst.

  • Dennis

    Rob, I bitch about the homophobia of White KKKristians all the time on this site, so I genuinely wasn’t trying to be racist. And I absolutely agree that black churches have no monopoly on homophobia…but I will also not censor myself to pretend that religious influence is not a major factor in black homphobia (and white homophobia, and latino, etc).

    My sympathies go out to him and his poor self-hating, self-blaming delusions…and just as I was raised Catholic and had much work to do to let go of that ‘crock of shit’…clearly, this man got some STRONG message inside him at some point, that being gay is not right…

    I absolutely believe that the black church (like the Catholic church was for me) shares a large part of the blame for this man’s misunderstandings about his true worth as a person, and the fact that it was his attacker’s hatred, and not his own sexual orientation, that is the real problem in “God’s eyes”…

  • Mark Snyder

    One good thing will come of this – a lighter sentence. Jail does not do any good. It makes messed up people more messed up.

  • Lex

    Good god some of you have no empathy or understanding of anything outside of where you stick your dick.

    The man obviously suffered brain damage. He’s paralyzed on one side for a reason. He’s not thinking clearly and someone close to him should’ve kept him in check until he recovers.

    He most certainly is not the first person who’s been beaten to be out of it, blows to the head are no joke. Making nasty comments about other gay men just because you don’t agree with their line of thought only serves to separate us even more.

    In short you’re doing more damage than he is. Even though a friend, lover, or family member really should shut him up and keep him away from the press.

  • anonymous

    @Mark Snyder: Mark, my intentions are not to shoot down your comment but I must point something out to all who agree with your comment.

    This guy attacks him. Then he attacks him again with an accomplice, this time knocking him completely unconscious. Then he is about to go for a third round while the guy is lying unconscious on the ground. He was intending to kill this man.

    People who no doubt cheered the first two attacks (though no actual proof exists that it was cheered on by the crowd) by now have regain what was once referred to as guilt and realized they were about to witness a murder and stopped him.

    His attacker is in a place where he, and he alone, put himself. He now understands what older, stronger prisoners do to young smart mouth punks who think they are bad. They are turned into women, prostitutes or someones bitch to put it bluntly.

    I wonder if this guy (the attacker) is Jamaican. A group of Jamaican men standing on a corner in Brooklyn are an openly gay man’s nightmare anytime of day. I have heard too many stories of their antics. I also am aware of several black gay men they KNOW not to mess with because those are the type of gay black men who do not give one damn about spending time in prison. They are also the only ones who are left alone too.

    I say leave little bad ass right where he (or by now she) is.

  • max12


    Don’t bring Luke & Laura into this mess. You can’t compare the greatest story in daytime history to this current one.

  • M Shane

    Any one who doesn’t get the victim dynamics in that is dense. Victims often blame themselves. Additionally, I’d be willing to bet that being black , he doesn’t have any support system in the gay community. It may sound crazy , but for alot of people there isn’t a gay community there at all.
    Ie without the black people who he has to live with he gets rejected and possibly threatened.

    It’s partially our responsability for not have a sense of community that allows everyone in. As it is he gets doubly victimized.

  • Bleeding heart

    Have we no shame and no empathy? Not even for one of our own who has been beaten to near death, plus is dealing with HIV? This guy is not able to think clearly. Maybe he never was able to. But now he’s definitely traumatized and messed-up, physically and mentally.

    And most of the posters here blame the church and make fun of him. Shameful.

    M Shane is right. Prince probably has no support network. Probably never had one. And it’s irresponsible for a gay newspaper to capitalize on Prince in this manner. It’s like preying on a mentally handicapped person. The story didn’t need to run front page, center. And even if it did, the reporters could have spoken with mental health experts about whether it is common for victims to blame themselves, etc.

    The LGBT community–if there is such a thing–must rise to a higher level…

    Did you know Obama’s health care plan included death camps for gay people? It’s in the Bible!

  • Rob Tisinai

    No one can know what’s going on in this guy’s head. But here’s one possibility: The event was so traumatic that they only way he can process it is to think, “Everything happens for a (good) reason; it’s all part of God’s plan.” And this is the best reason he could come up with. It almost makes sense in a way: if someone robs you of your everyday life, then you convince yourself your everyday life wasn’t worth happening.

    None of this changes the fact that he’s obviously disordered.

  • Stephen Kent Jusick

    Never heard of sperm washing?
    The concept of sperm washing rests on the premise that HIV resides mainly in the seminal fluid of an HIV positive male. Sperm washing concentrates and separates the fertilizing sperm from the infectious seminal fluid. During ovulation, the woman is then artificially inseminated with the concentrated sperm. Without the infectious seminal fluid, the theory is that the risk of the woman being infected with HIV is greatly reduced, thereby reducing the risk of vertical transmission (transmission from mother to child) as well.

  • hyhybt

    A few probably contradictory thoughts: a) all we need is for word of this to get around: “proof” that all we need is a good beating and we’ll turn straight. b) before forgiveness there’s supposed to be repentance! c) horrible events do sometimes make people rethink their lives; I hope that it works out for him (and that he doesn’t pass anything on to his wife and child, if any).

  • Daniel

    Maybe he just wants to get close enough to get revenge. He claims he wants to be biblical and lord knows that archaic bible is filled with vengence. An eye for an eye… and all that jazz.

  • jessi

    rob: I have received a hell of alot more homophobia from black people than I have from white people. The thing that hurt the most was that I thought they would be more sympathetic to our cause, because they know whats its like to be treated like second class citizens. I had a black best friend and at first embraced black culture, until I found most of them were very hateful and racist themselves. Its no secret that alot of black churches helped give Bush a second term because they didn’t want gay marriage.

  • getreal

    This is so sad. This man is obviously very confused he needs a husband not a wife and any church that is leading him to hate himself for being gay is a sick church. He should know that God does not create mistakes he created 10% of the population gay for a reason and they sure as hell don’t need to be changed. I know the fundamentalist atheists will hate this but the bible says we are all created in God’s image gay, straight, tall,short, black, or white. Any church that teaches people to hate themselves for being gay is a false church.

  • Maxine

    Let this be a lesson to all gays…

    Don’t hit on someone who’s straight =)

  • Dennis

    What the fuck kind of comment is that ?! If it’s supposed to be a joke with the smiley face, it’s NOT funny. Aad if you’re serious, you better run and hide, bitch, and not show yourself on this site antime soon.

    Bashing isn’t funny, unless it happens to YOU.

  • Maxine

    “you better run and hide, bitch, and not show yourself on this site antime soon.”

    soooooooo…. is that a threat to get bashed?

    you’re all so hypocritical.

  • Dennis

    Cunt, this man was partially paralyzed by his attacker and left with lifelong injuries. And you have the shitbrained audacity to blame him for ‘flirting’ as if he deserved this beating. You show no human decency, or compassion, or tolerance, and yet you expect it in return?! Fucking insane!

    You are scum, a disgrace to your gender (and your species)…now fuck off and spread your poison elsewhere…stupid arrogant bitch.

  • Maxine

    p.s. DENNIS

    Hatred is HATRED… and YOU hating ME for hating YOU and wanting ME to be bashed is NO different WHATSOEVER from that @sshole that beat that poor guy for HATING HIM.


    the comment was sadistic sarcasm, and you are a moron.

    you can disagree with my humor all you’d like, you can hate it, think it’s sick, think i’m wrong…. just like straights can disagree with gays all they like, think it’s sick, think it’s wrong…

    The POINT is…NEITHER justifies HARM

    I’m very glad you made it so simple to prove my point.

    GOOD DAY! =)

  • Dennis

    If your comment was intended as humor…um yeah, a man left partially paralyzed with lifelong injuries for flirting with the wrong person…um, that’s funny to you?!

    You, dearie, are the sick and twisted bitch if that’s the case. I make NO APOLOGY to a stupid bitch such as yourself, before YOU aoplogize for your hate inciting original comment.

    If you can see the tremendous error in your thinking…blaming the victim, spreading hate, and expecting tolerant treatment in might redeem your humanity. I’m doubtful.

  • cufflinks

    No one deserves to be gay bashed for any reason.

    That being said, it is worth noting that this guy seemed to be purposely putting himself in danger — a byproduct of his own self-hate perhaps? It’s one thing to be spiritually evolved enough to forgive your attacker. But this guy isn’t just forgiving his attacker, he’s writing him in jail and seeking to “hang out” in the future. It’s like he wants this to happen again…

  • Maxine


    You’re gay.

  • Dennis

    Would you find it as hilarious if it was a woman who was beaten and paralyzed, or raped, because she flirted with the wrong person? Would that just make you laugh all day? Yeah, pretty darn funny, that.

    If you want to be treated with tolerance and respect, show some. Your sense of humor sucks.

  • Mike

    Well maybe there is a God… lol… this idiot got beaten up and is HIV+. Serves him right for the damage he’s indirectly causing others.

  • scott ny'er

    what straight man says, “you can find me a female”? It just sounds weird. How about, “you can find me a woman” “a lady” “a hot mama”.

    poor guy is deluding himself.

    oh and to the haters. very christian of you. i’m sure you’re christian or religious.

  • mikea


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