Volume 80, Number 36 | February 3 - 9, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Accused gay basher says, ‘I’m bi’

BY DUNCAN OSBORNE

A 45-year-old man charged with attempted robbery and third-degree assault as a hate crime in 2010 incidents in two West Village gay bars said that while he was admittedly involved in a bar fight, he never used antigay or racial slurs.

“I just wanted to tell my side of the story,” said Frederick Giunta in a phone interview. “I think it’s only fair because I am facing a lot of time in this case.”

Giunta, who said he is bisexual, arrived in the West Village around 1 p.m. last Oct. 11. He told police he was there to see a friend. He then visited a series of gay bars and drank at each one. By the time he reached Julius’ on W. 10th St. at about 5:40 p.m., he was “really, really intoxicated,” Giunta said.

He allegedly fought with another patron and an employee there after an argument. During the incident, he is alleged to have used antigay and racial slurs.

“[The bartender] then jumps over the bar, grabs me,” Giunta said. “As they are escorting me out to the door, I’m sure I might have said something, but nothing hateful at all. It’s blown out of proportion... . I had no intent to do what they are saying I was doing.”

Giunta acknowledged he was involved in the fight, but called it a “bar scuffle.”

“There was one punch that was thrown that I could admit to,” he said. “I never used words of hate.”

Just prior to going to Julius’, Giunta is alleged to have attempted to steal a wallet from someone near Ty’s Bar on Christopher St.

He denied doing that.

The third-degree assault as a hate crime charge is significant in Giunta’s case. If he is convicted, that E felony will be sentenced as if it is a D felony, and his possible maximum time in prison will go from four years to seven years.

Giunta was already on parole on an earlier larceny charge. In that case, he was diverted to drug and alcohol treatment instead of prison. Since he was rearrested, he would likely have to serve at least two years in prison on the larceny charge.

In addition, he has served three short prison terms for drug sales and another larceny since 1991. None were violent crimes.

Giunta could not make his $25,000 bail, so he has been held in the Manhattan Detention Center since his Oct. 15 arrest. He spoke to this reporter by phone after his wife, Judy, approached Gay City News, The Villager’s sister paper, offering an interview with him.

“A lot of these things are just fabricated,” Giunta said. “I was actually flirting with the bartender... . I’m a very caring, kind person.”

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