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BY JEFFERSON SIEGEL | Two men accused of a gay-bashing incident in Soho appeared at their arraignments in Manhattan Criminal Court after 1 a.m. on Wed., May 22. The two were charged with assault as a hate crime after they allegedly punched a man in the face just after 5 a.m. on Tuesday morning May 21 on Broadway near Houston St.
Assistant District Attorney Lauren Manso read the criminal complaint against both men. She said Fabian Ortiz, 32, called the victim a “gay fag” in Spanish as he put his arm around him.
Defense lawyer Kira Treyvus, representing Ortiz, said he has a job as a dishwasher in a deli and has a 3-year-old child.
Lawyer Bret J. Taylor said his client, Pedro Jimenez, 23, has been in the U.S. for four years and this was his first arrest. Jimenez lives with his brother in Brooklyn and is a full-time restaurant cook in Manhattan.
Taylor said he took pictures of Jimenez’s hands and, even though he was accused of beating the victim, there were no discolorations or bruises on his hands, according to Taylor.
Both lawyers discounted the claims of the victim, noting he was much taller than the two defendants. The accused men did not speak during the hearing.
Judge Laura R. Johnson set bail for each man at $2,000 bond or $750 cash, and said if they make bail, they had to surrender their passports. They were remanded into custody.
The alleged attack was one of a rash of recent gay-bashing incidents in Manhattan. The most serious came just after midnight on Sat., May 18, when Elliot Morales, 33, allegedly uttered anti-gay epithets at Mark Carson, 32, before shooting him in the face, killing him, just east of the corner of Eighth St. and Sixth Ave.