New York City gay bar attacked for fourth time in a month: ‘We can not stand for this’

CCTV footage of man throwing a brick at window

VERS – a gay bar in New York City – has been the target of an anti-LGBTQ+ hate crime for the fourth time in a month as America sees an “emboldened anti-gay, anti-trans resurgence”.

The bar’s owner, David DeParolesa, said the attack, in which a man threw a brick at the window on Saturday night (19 November) while people were inside, “feels like yet another manifestation of hate against our community”.

In CCTV footage a man can be seen throwing a brick at VERS’ front window.

Thankfully, the brick didn’t manage to completely shatter the glass. 

In July, when DeParolesa opened his venue, he installed shatterproof glass windows in a bid to protect customers from such attacks. As a result, no one has been harmed in the string of incidents.

“I thought about the glass when I first opened the space in July.

“It doesn’t shatter but it does crack,” DeParolesa told the New York Post. 

New York City police investigate incident as hate crime

DeParolesa said his bar is safe but said he feels the country is in a moment of “emboldened anti-gay, anti-trans resurgence”.

“The pendulum swings. This is the manifestation of that,” he told NBC News.  

Mark Levine, the Manhattan borough president, tweeted a video of the incident following the attack, and said: “The epidemic of anti-LGBTQ+ violence is national.

“A well-known gay bar on Manhattan’s west side has been attacked repeatedly in recent weeks. We can not stand for this.”

The suspect remains unknown but the incident is being investigated as a hate crime, New York City Police Department (NYPD) confirmed. 

A video has been released by the NYPD of a man they would like to speak to regarding the incident.

Colorado Springs shooting

The New York attack follows the devastating Colorado Springs shooting which saw five people killed and at least 25 injured after a gunman opened fired at Club Q. 

Following the shooting, New York governor Kathy Hochul has called on New York State Police to increase its surveillance and protect the LGBTQ+ community and others most at risk of hate crimes.

“I have directed the New York State Police to ramp up monitoring and increase support for communities that are potential targets of hate crimes,” Hochul said.

“Here in New York, we will not tolerate violence or bigotry toward any community. We stand united against hate – today and every day.”

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also condemned the Republican Party’s “anti-LGBTQ campaign” which she linked to the increase in anti-LGBTQ+ targeted violence, including the latest Colorado massacre. 

Meanwhile, anti-LGBTQ+ social media account, Libs of TikTok used Twitter to attack a Colorado kids drag organisation, just hours after the Colorado incident. 

According to the NYPD Hate Crimes Dashboard, between 1 January 2022 to 30 September 2022, 66 arrests were made in relation to bias against gay men. 

In that same period nine arrests were made for bias against transgender, and 10 arrests were made for bias against lesbians.