More details have emerged on last night's brutal beating that landed a 50-year-old man in critical condition at St. Vincent's Hospital. Police sources say the attack may have been unprovoked and believe Allen Williams of Buffalo was hailing a cab in the West Village around 2 a.m. when he was beaten by strangers who thought he was gay.
The Daily News reports that Williams was on Seventh Ave. South when four thugs blocked him from getting into two cabs, then punched him in the face. The blow knocked Williams down and he hit his head on the pavement. According to police, witnesses heard one of the assailants say, "I got him good." (MyFoxNY says his blood was still seen on the sidewalk hours later.) It's not known if Williams, who is still unconscious, is homosexual, but some residents tell the News that gay bashing is on the rise in the West Village. Robbery apparently was not a motive, because Williams' wallet and ID were not taken.
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly informed reporters today that police are investigating the beating as "a possible bias attack." City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who represents the Village, said, "We need to send a message—sadly, yet again—that we have no tolerance for hate crimes in the city of New York." Last December, a man was fatally beaten in Brooklyn by men who thought he was gay; the victim was actually just drunk and arm-in-arm with his brother.