Police have arrested one of two men suspected of being involved in stabbing a gay man in the Bronx on July 10th. But despite the victim's claim that one of his attackers used homophobic slurs, the accused isn't facing hate crime charges. Marquise Devereaux, a 39-year-old event planner, was walking in the Clason Point gated community where he lives at around 3:30 a.m. when two men came up to him and one purportedly said, "We're not going to do any of that boyfriend stuff around here."
One of the men called Deveraux "homo," and "faggot," according to the Daily News. The other slashed him in his left armpit. The pair then fled. Devereaux was hospitalized and his wound required eight stitches to close up, according to the tabloid.
Police arrested Kareem Ruddock, 25, on Monday and charged him with felony assault and weapon possession. Ruddock is listed as a resident of the same gated community. It's unclear why, given police and Devereaux's accounts that involve anti-gay slurs, Ruddock's charges do not carry hate crime enhancements. A Bronx man with Ruddock's name was arrested in May on charges of menacing, weapon possession, injuring a child, strangulation, assault, and harassment. A judge issued a protection order and released him without bail, and the charges are still pending, records show.
Devereaux told reporters that he had been stabbed for being gay once before, several years ago, and that his attacker wound up serving 3 1/2 years on a bias assault charge. He told ABC7 that he wanted to come forward about his latest ordeal to raise awareness of homophobic violence, and out of concern that, unlike the recent shootings of police in Dallas and gay club-goers in Orlando, "in this case, it's two black guys that have attacked each other and maybe the fact that I'm gay won't matter."
The second suspect is still at large.
We've reached out to the Bronx District Attorney's Office for clarity on the charging decision in this case. We'll update if we hear back.
Police ask anyone with information about the attack to call the Crime Stoppers hotline at (800) 577-8477, or for Spanish, (888) 577-4782. People can also submit tips online here, or by texting 247637 and entering "TIP577".