Thursday, September 13, 2007

More New York City Area Gay Bashing

(An update's a few paragraphs down.) The details are slim at this point, but openly gay celebrity chef Josie Smith-Malave was attacked by a gang of thugs in Long Island:
September 13, 2007 -- A former "Top Chef" contestant yesterday recounted the ordeal of being surrounded outside a Long Island bar by thugs who savagely beat her and two female companions while others watched, laughed and took photographs.

"It was a very large group of young adults. I mean, they were so angry," said Josie Smith-Malave, 32, an openly gay woman who appeared on Season Two of the show.

"I've never experienced something like that before, when you come face to face with people who are so angry."

Smith-Malave said the trouble began when she, her heterosexual sister, Julie Smith, 30, and her gay friend, Emily Durwood, 23, were asked to leave Partners, a Sea Cliff bar, on Sept. 1.

The three women were followed outside by "a mob of nine to 12 young adults," said a statement released by attorney Yetta Kurland's office.

The group "encircled" the trio, started shouting out hateful slurs. such as "f - - - ing dykes," threw "sticks, cups and other objects" at the women, and even spit on them before the violence occurred, the statement added.

More from the Voice. The police are investigating the attack as a possible hate crime:

Detectives are probing an attack of a former Top Chef contestant as a hate crime because her assailants used anti-gay epithets, said a spokesman for the Nassau County Police Department.

Josie Smith-Malave, a former contestant on Bravo's TV reality show and a player on the New York Sharks woman's football team, and three friends were attacked by an angry mob who yelled slurs at the women after being tossed out of Partners bar in Sea Cliff, said NCPD spokesman Lt. Kevin Smith.

"We are looking in to the incident as a possible bias and hate crime because of the nature of the verbal altercation," said Smith who would not repeat the language the attackers used but said the epithets were about gender and sexual orientation.

Lt. Smith said the dispute started inside the bar when a group of patrons, who have not yet been identified, accused someone in Smith-Malave's party of videotaping them.

"They made a stink to the bartender...(and management) ended up ejecting both groups," said Lt. Smith. "Outside the bar, this mixed group of men and woman started to curse and make biased and inappropriate remarks."

Outside, after words were exchanged, pushing and shoving started led to a full-out brawl, police said. During the fracas someone forcibly took a camera from Smith-Malave's purse, Smith said.

Police have recovered Smith-Malave's camera but did apprehended any suspects, Smith said. The suspect could face charges ranging from robbery to aggravated harassment to assault. They were also face stiffer penalties and longer jail sentences if they are convicted of those charges as hate crimes.

PostBlog: 365gay has an update. An arrest has been made:

(New York City) Nassau County police arrested an Oregon man Thursday in the beating of 'Top Chef' contestant Josie Smith-Malave.

Matthew W. Walli, 20, is charged with second-degree robbery as a bias crime, a police spokesperson said.

Eleven others are still being sought in the September 1 attack on Smith-Malave two other women outside a bar in Sea Cliff on Long Island.

Smith-Malave appeared on Season 2 of the Bravo show.

She and a group of other women had gone to the bar to celebrate the birthday of one of them.

Walli's arrest came a day after Smith-Malave's attorney accused police of dragging their feet in the investigation. (story)

Smith-Malave and the other women had been asked to leave the bar on Sept 1 after a patron objected that Smith-Malave and another of the women were "slow-dancing" together.

About 10 or 12 patrons followed the three women out of the club where the assault occurred. The crowd allegedly began yelling anti-gay epithets, then spat on the women and threw debris on them.

At that point several in the crowd began beating the women. The three suffered bruises, one woman had a head injury. A video recorder that one of the woman had was stolen from her.

[Right here this story loses "the other side" that belongs to the patrons. Anything they have to say is nearly irrelevant. Nothing excuses or is an excuse for inspiring this type of behavior. Nothing.]

Walli allegedly returned to the area with the video recorder earlier in the week, but was not arrested at the time.

A Miami native, Smith-Malave is a former sous-chef for a Brooklyn restaurant. Prior to that she played for the New York Sharks of the Independent Women's Football League.