Eugene Lovendusky is the latest New York gay man to be assaulted by someone yelling homophobic slurs and physically attacking him. According to police reports, Manuel Riquelme, 19, approached Lovendusky, 28, yelled the slur and punched Lovendusky in the jaw. Lovendusky refused medical attention, but did have his glasses knocked off.
Riquelme was caught later at a pizzeria at West 40th and Ninth Avenue.
Lovendusky, the co-founder of Queer Rising, had left the XL nightclub and was walking to the subway with friends when the assault happened. Riquelme has been charged with assault as a hate crime and harassment.
NYC Police Commissioner Ray Kelly praised the increased reporting of bias crimes stating “I can tell you that after the terrible events in the sixth precinct, there was a lot of notoriety given to it. And we believe that these types of bias crimes are under reported. So this is something you may well not have heard about. But now it’s being reported, and we think that’s a good thing. The first thing we want to tell the victims is to report it. We have to know about it before we can take action, and this is an example of action has been taking. ”
While Riquelme is the only one charged, sources have stated that there were other teens in the group that confronted Lovendusky and his friends. Police arrived shortly after one of the friends called 911.
Lovendusky spoke out hoping that Speaker Christine Quinn would allocate more resources for self defense classes for the LGBT Community. He stated “It’s further proof that anyone no matter how strong or vocal you are in the community can be a victim. If anything this will only strengthen my resolve.” Quinn is running for Mayor of New York City.