Team Coverage by Charles Winters and Thomas Bistritz
A man says he was taunted and attacked for being gay while having a cocktail at a bar located in a swanky hotel just one block from Manhattan’s first gay-themed hotel near Times Square. New York nightlife personality Jamie Ranieri was actually partying with the victim and jumped in to help when the staff at Yotel did not. GaySocialites.com spoke with her exclusively about the incident. Our senior editors, Charles Winters and Thomas Bistritz, provide team coverage.
“I was there,” Jamie explained, ”in the middle of it.” Where? At the bar located inside Yotel at 42nd and 10th. It, she says, was a gay bashing that the bar staff tried to ignore.
Ranieri told GaySocialites.com that she saw the altercation start to happen from across the bar and she moved in to make sure her friends were ok.
When she made it over to where the two openly gay man were standing, she said she heard another patron at the bar call them a “faggot”. Her continued by saying,
“your friend talks like he has marbles in his mouth.” Jamie said she isn’t sure exactly what he meant by that, but to her it was clear they were bullying her friends for being gay and no one else was going to help.
“I told the bartender to call security,” Jamie said. The bartender, who she said is named Christine, “responded with nothing.” From there, she said, it only got worse. Ranieri even tried to take things into her own hands.
“I tried to hold them apart, then someone had their hands around my neck,” she said. It was then that security guards working at the Yotel bar came to the rescue. However, while those bouncers were trying to help Jamie, her friends got attacked by the man who called them homophobic slurs and another man who was with him.
“My friend was punched four times in the face, twice in the chest and ribs… shirt torn apart,” Jamie told GaySocialites.com. As the attack was taking place, she said, other patrons clapped and cheered. Ranieri said one of the men was able to run away and the other one tried, but she isn’t sure if he successfully fled the scene. However, the Yotel management refused to provide the victims with any information.
“I do not want [the incident to be] swept under a rug, which I am thinking is what they are trying to do,” she continued. “I think making someone responsible for the incident is what should happen.”
The victim is not ready to release his name publicly at this time, but GaySocialites.com has extended an offer to allow him to tell his story when he has had time to take care of his injuries (both physically and psychologically). The story is making its way around social networking sites, and Jamie said she even received a Facebook message from another Yotel patron that read, “You fucked with the wrong person, stop spreading lies.”
When GaySocialites.com spoke with Jamie on Sunday, her friend was on her couch with ice on his face and trying to process the thought that he was now a gay bashing victim. They are planning a trip to Callen Lorde to have his injuries assessed, plan to file an official report with the New York City Police Department and are reaching out to Lamba Legal for assistance.
GaySocialites.com contacted the management offices at Yotel who declined to comment on the incident. We left messages for their senior managers giving them the opportunity to respond to these allegations.
Stay with GaySocialites.com for more information on this situation as details unfold.