Hate-crime wave continues: Thug targeted gay bars
BY PAUL SCHINDLER
A 45-year-old Queens man has been charged in two attacks, just 10 minutes apart, in two West Village gay bars, the second and third such incidents in Village gay establishments in the past two weeks.
Frederick Giunta has been arraigned on charges of assault in the third degree as a hate crime and attempted robbery in the third degree in the two incidents.
Giunta is alleged to have grabbed the wallet of a 31-year-old Brooklyn man and punched him in the face outside of Ty’s, a bar at 114 Christopher St., between Bedford and Bleecker Sts., at 5:30 p.m. on Tues., Oct. 11.
The police say that 10 minutes later, at Julius’ bar, about three blocks away at 159 W. 10th St. at Waverly Place, the suspect punched Greg Davis, a 38-year-old, African-American man and Chelsea resident who is a bartender there, while yelling at him, “What are you going to do?” and calling him a racial slur, then yelling at him, “You are a f------ faggot.”
According to a statement from the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project (A.V.P.), police said Giunta has “a known history of luring gay men with the intent to rob and injure them,” a characterization that City Council Speaker Christine Quinn echoed.
A law enforcement source said that Giunta pleaded guilty to a 2002 charge that after leaving the Rawhide bar in Chelsea with one of its patrons, he stole the man’s wallet.
“This most recent attack underscores our need to stop the hate speech and anti-L.G.B.T.Q. vitriol that results in this kind of attack,” Sharon Stapel, A.V.P.’s executive director, said in a statement.
Quinn credited the suspect’s arrest to quick action by the Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force.
“Tragically, this is just the most recent in a series of hate crimes to strike our city and neighborhoods in recent weeks,” the speaker said.
Paul Seres, president of the New York Nightlife Association, said, “This is not just an L.G.B.T. problem, it is a New York City problem.”
Two Staten Island men, Matthew Francis, 21, and Christopher Orlando, 17, were arrested in connection with an Oct. 3 assault on a patron at the Stonewall Inn on Christopher St., where the modern gay rights movement gained full steam in the wake of a June 1969 police raid. Julius’ is the city’s oldest existing gay bar.
Andrew Jackson, a 20-year-old Chelsea man, has been charged with hate-crime assault and gang assault in connection with an attack on three gay men at Ninth Ave. and 25th St. in Chelsea on Oct. 1. Two other suspects are still being sought.