An anti-gay attack at a West Village gay bar marks the fourth incident of homophobic violence in this city in a little over a week.
“This is a level of violence we haven’t seen against the LGBT community in decades,” said City Council speaker Christine Quinn.
Frederick Giunta, 45, of Queens, was arrested just before 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 11 after he punched a bartender at Julius’, one of the oldest gay bars in the city. The 38-year-old bartender was trying to break up a fight between Giunta and another patron, said police, when Giunta punched him above the right eye, taunting with him homophobic and racist slurs: “What are you going to do, you f— n—.”
Giunta, who is also charged with punching a man and trying to steal his wallet earlier that day, was charged with assault as a hate crime, a felony offense, according to police.
Giunta has a known history of targeting gay men in bars, enticing them to leave with him and then beating and robbing them, said Quinn. “He goes out hunting,” said Quinn, who is a lesbian.
But to some it seems that even traditionally gay-friendly neighborhoods like Chelsea and the Village are no longer safe from violence.
“For over eight years working in the West Village, I’ve never seen anything like this happen,” said Melvin Hill, 51, a chef at Julius’ who witnessed the attack Monday night. “There goes the neighborhood.”