Interracial Couple Attacked Outside Queens Bar in Possible Bias Crime

Billie and Jacob James-Vogel say they were attacked as they left a bar with their gay friend

By Checkey Beckford
|  Monday, Aug 19, 2013  |  Updated 1:52 PM EDT
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An interracial couple says they were beaten up in a crime of hate, and they're talking about their frightening ordeal.  News 4's Checkey Beckford reports.

Checkey Beckford

An interracial couple says they were beaten up in a crime of hate, and they're talking about their frightening ordeal. News 4's Checkey Beckford reports.

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An interracial married couple says they were attacked outside a bar in Queens early Saturday, and that their attackers used racial and homophobic slurs.

Billie and Jacob James-Vogel say they and a gay friend had been celebrating Billie James-Vogel's 40th birthday in Long Island City and were attacked when they left the bar. 

They say three men began hurling homophobic and racist slurs at their group before physically assaulting them.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the argument began when one of the men kissed Billie James-Vogel, and words were exchanged between the husband and that man.

Jacob James-Vogel suffered a black eye and a head injury; his wife had a broken toe and other bruises.

Kelly said one person had been arrested, and police were still investigating.

"We're still looking at it as a possible hate crime," Kelly said.

Billie James-Vogel said she fears her attackers might return. 

"In this day and age, in this neighborhood, it just kills me," she said of the racial slurs.

Last week, a gay couple was assaulted after leaving a movie theater in Chelsea, and that attack followed a series of anti-gay attacks in the spring, including the fatal shooting of a man in Greenwich Village.

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