A Long Island City lounge has come under fire for allegedly not allowing the victims of Saturday's hate crime—which left an interracial husband and wife with multiple injuries—back inside after the attack occurred, even though they'd patronized the establishment only moments before.
Chris Boscia, who accompanied Billie and Jacob James-Vogel to the upscale restaurant SHI on Saturday to celebrate Billie's birthday, said the concierge shut the door in his face when he asked for help following a brutal attack by a group of men, who had preceded the pummeling with a series of racial and homophobic slurs.
Boscia said he'd only asked the concierge to call the police—the battery on his own phone had died—but the doorman allegedly refused, leaving the group stranded outside with their attackers.
SHI, for its part, vehemently denies its role in the debacle, and has posted the following message to the homepage of its website:
It is being reported that we at SHI denied them help. We vehemently deny these allegations because it is simply untrue. We were not aware of the incident until it was over. In any event we were informed the Police were called and on their way. Neither Billie or Jacob Vogel was turned away. As a business serving Long Island City and beyond, we have a very diverse clientele and are very [sic] invloved in the community. We strongly condemn discrimination in all forms and under no circumstances would we turn away anyone who needed help for whatever reason. Our sympathies go out to the james-Vogels and we sincerely hope they recover both physically and emotionally from this devastating incident.
Boscia said police arrived roughly two minutes after the attack occurred. The incident left Jacob James-Vogel with a black eye and injured head, and his wife Billie, who was celebrating her 40th birthday, with a broken toe and several bruises. So far, only one arrest has been made.