Man's sick act outside gay cocktail bar caught on camera: 'Terrifying'
A man has been captured on video throwing a brick at a New York gay bar, which has been targeted four times in one week.
The alleged hate crimes have terrified members of the community, with New York council member Erik Bottcher and others urging people to help identify the offender.
"This man has thrown bricks at the window of VERS four times in recent weeks," he alleged on Twitter. "These are hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community. Please help us identify him."
Despite the claim from Mr Bottcher, it is unclear if the same man has carried out each attack.
The CCTV footage from Saturday at around 10pm shows a man wearing glasses holding a large brick and staring at the front of the busy bar in Hells Kitchen, before launching it into the front window and running away, scaring customers and onlookers.
He then comes back into view and seems to point someone in the direction of where the person may have gone, as if he wasn't the one to commit the crime, before walking away again.
Nobody was harmed due to the owner of the bar, David DeParolesa, installing shatterproof glass windows in case attacks like this happen. The brick did leave a large crack in the window though.
“I thought about the glass when I first opened the space in July,” Mr DeParolesa told the NY Post. “It doesn’t shatter, but it does crack.”
He described the crime as "yet another manifestation of hate against our community," on the same night a gunman opened fire in Colorado at another gay club, killing five people.
Mr DeParolesa was thankful the man was finally captured on CCTV, calling the incident a "pattern" which needed to be stopped.
"It's the same window, it's a brick, it's a person that we finally caught on video last night," he said to NBC New York.
Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine said this is unfortunately one of many attacks on the queer community in the country. "The epidemic of anti-LGBTQ+ violence is national. We can not stand for this," he said on Twitter.
Social media users react to alleged hate crime
Many shared his sentiment online, with the video being viewed and shared thousands of times in hope of spreading awareness and catching the offender.
"This person needs to be found before we have yet another mass shooting. It's bricks for now..." one person said.
"There is no city or town in America where marginalised people are truly safe. None. Don’t think this sh** just happens in red states or in the boonies. It’s everywhere," said another. "This is terrifying," a third said.
Bar decides to stay open
Despite the violent attempt, it's "business as usual" for Mr DeParolesa who kept the premises open the following day. The bar posted a photo of two cocktails with the large crack in the window in the background, encouraging customers to "come by and join us for a drink!".
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"Savage, love it," one person commented on Instagram. Local media report the attack is being investigated by the New York Police Department.
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