Gay Activist Assaulted by Teens Outside Manhattan Club

The victim had been protesting a spate of other recent bias attacks

A gay rights activist says he was attacked by a group of teenagers as he was a leaving a nightclub early Saturday. 

Eugene Lovendusky, 28, told NBC 4 New York over the phone he was leaving the XL nightclub with his boyfriend and another friend when a group of nine teenagers approached them near 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue, hurled anti-gay slurs and threw punches. 

One of the teens hit Lovendusky in the jaw and ran away, he said. 

"I got a punch in the face, and my glasses flew off," said Lovendusky.

He called police, and he and his friends canvassed the area and tracked down the group of teens. One was arrested at a nearby pizzeria. 

Lovendusky was able to identify his attacker, who was taken into police custody. The 19-year-old was arrested on charges of assault as a hate crime, and harassment. 

Lovendusky, a co-founder of Queer Rising, has been actively protesting a spate of other recent bias attacks. He says being a victim of the latest assault highlights the importance of reporting such crimes.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly applauded Lovendusky. 

"We believe these kinds of biased crimes are underreported," he said. "Now it's being reported, and we think that it is a good thing." 

Lovendusky said the attack hasn't shaken him.

"I'm not scared," he said. "These are my streets just as much as it is theirs." 

Lovendusky said of his attacker, "I am more of a man than he ever will be because I did not throw the punch."

"If you're battling your own personal homophobia, then seek understanding through conversation and education, don't turn to violence," he said.

Lovendusky said he is physically OK and did not seek treatment for his injury. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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