Damian Furtch, a 26-year-old aspiring actor and model, suffered what he believes to be an anti-gay attack last Sunday in New York City’s West Village. The police are now investigating the incident as a hate crime.
Furtch was attacked at around 4:30AM on Sunday morning. He had just finished a stint at the nearby Pink Tea Cup restaurant and, after going into McDonald’s for a meal with a friend, had stepped outside to make a phone call when he was set upon by two men.
Writing on his Facebook page where he also posted pictures of his injuries, Furtch said, “I thought I was safe in the city I loved but apparently wearing fluorescent colored clothing and pink shoelaces really bother some f—–g a–holes to blind side me and hit me.”
Furtch, a 6-foot-4 athletic young man, is described by his employer in the New York Daily News as a “gentle giant.” The report also notes that Furtch had only recently moved to New York from California.
Furtch has now recounted the incident for LGBT media group GLAAD.
My name is Damian Furtch, and I was violently attacked on March 27 by two men in the West Village. My friend and I were at the local McDonalds ordering food when I noticed two men staring at us. My friend and I ordered our food and waited for our order to be filled. I stepped outside to make a phone call in an effort to avoid the tension in the restaurant and remove myself from the situation. The two gentlemen stepped out after me and asked if I had a problem. I told one of them that I had stepped out just to use the phone and had no problem with him or his three friends. Then, all of a sudden the second gentleman hit me on the right side of my face causing me to stumble. Then I felt three punches to the face.
Police have released silent video surveillance footage of the attack. The video can be found below. Reader discretion is advised in deciding whether to view the footage.
More from Damian via GLADD:
After the attack, I stumbled back into the McDonald’s and told my friend that we needed to go to the hospital because I had been attacked. We then rushed to Roosevelt Hospital where I received medical attention.
The attack against me is part of the larger issue of violence against gay and transgender people in New York City. While I am grateful for the opportunity to share my story, I hope to shed light on the larger issue of violence against my community. This has to stop. Under no circumstance should a person be attacked for their sexual orientation.