Skip to comments.Melee at gay school
Posted on 10/10/2003 1:48:17 AM PDT by kattracks
The fall afternoon started simply enough: A handful of gay teens from Harvey Milk High School lounged around a Lexus parked by a Starbucks in Greenwich Village on Tuesday.
Then things got violent.
One of the teens fiddled with the Lexus' sideview mirror, enraging the driver. Words, some of them possibly homophobic, were exchanged. A bottle was thrown at the luxury car.
The Lexus driver came at the teens with a screwdriver.
When all was said and done, three Harvey Milk students as well as the driver of the Lexus, Vernon Jones, 23, were arrested - and Jones had been jabbed in the back with his own screwdriver, police said.
"This guy in a car started saying things. He was, like, 'Oh, look at the gay people, saying he wanted to murder us and everything. Then a few kids started saying, 'What's your problem?'" Leomi M., 16, a transgender Harvey Milk student who saw the fracas across the street from the school, said yesterday.
"The guy came out of the car, pulled a screwdriver out of his pocket and we ran," said Leomi, who wore a wig, makeup and women's clothing.
As some teenagers scattered, Jones allegedly grabbed one 17-year-old student, Erica Simon, and "mushed her" in the face, said another witness.
"He was starting to mush a girl, and 15 kids ran back to help her. Erica was roughed up," said another student witness, Randy M., 19. "It was crazy. He was saying, 'Y'all f------ homos are going to hell. Y'all should have died when you were first born.'"
Simon, along with four other students, is accused of "kicking, punching, and beating" Jones with a broken umbrella, fists, and feet, police said. They also wrestled his screwdriver away and slammed it into his back.
Jones, of Brooklyn, suffered a puncture wound and was brought to St. Vincent's Medical Center, where he was treated and charged with menacing.
Simon, along with Kareem Macedon, 16, and Penn Lorenzo, 16 - all from Brooklyn - were charged with gang assault and menacing. Two other teens involved in the attack were being sought by cops yesterday, police said.
Police are not investigating the incident as a hate crime.
"He gets out with a screwdriver, and they attack him. This was not motivated by him seeking to harass them about being gay," said a police official. "The Harvey Milk students were the aggressors."
But the Manhattan district attorney's office said Jones could face additional charges.
"We are absolutely investigating whether it is a hate crime," said Barbara Thompson, a district attorney spokeswoman.
The four were slated to be arraigned at Manhattan Criminal Court last night.
Bill to protect students
Harvey Milk Principal William Salzman referred all calls to the Department of Education, which said the incident was under investigation.
The arrests came the same week that the City Council Education Committee held hearings on a bill designed in part to protect gay and lesbian students from taunts and harassment. School Safety Chief Ben Tucker said there have been no similiar incidents at the school since it opened in September - with dozens of protesters outside.
"I think everyone was on edge about it when the school opened .... The school is very visible, so it's not unreasonable to assume that the school could be a target, or that the students could be targets," Tucker said. "That's the reason the school exists in the first place - to give the students some comfort."
With Bill Farrell and Celeste Katz
Originally published on October 10, 2003
[sarcasm]No liberal bias in this article.[/sarcasm]
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It is in the breaking news sidebar!
His parents must be so proud.
On the other hand, if someone was screwing around with my Lexus I'd have a problem. The kids probably just made up the rest. It's not like they have a proper perspective on society to begin with, so what's to stop them.
Let's face the facts here. Homosexuality is a mental disorder on par with any other mentally debilitating condition. Anything that would cause an organism to voluntarily filter itself out of the gene pool can be recognized as such.
Fantastic quote, right on the money.
Yeah, right. [/sarcasm]
How insensistive of the Lexus owner, the little darling was probably just borrowing it to fix his mascara.
Nothing contradictory about those statements, is there? Let's just make the students more comfortable by putting them all in one place so they'll be a huge target for haters.
I agree - something is fishy about this story, from both sides. I wonder if they searched both the Lexus and the drag queens and what they found.
Then again, you'd be surprised at some of the nice cars young people in NY have, funded by their parents. Girls I went to high school with were given Corvettes and Camaros by their folks.
I wasn't so fortunate - I paid for my rusted-out Datsun 210 station wagon with the fake wood-grain sides all by myself....
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