Police Investigate Attack on Gay Journalist as Possible Hate Crime: Sources

By Dana Varinsky and Mathew Katz  on January 26, 2014 3:25pm  | Updated on January 27, 2014 10:47am

 Police are investigating the beating of Randy Gener, a gay journalist who was found with injuries to his head and face early Friday morning.
Police are investigating the beating of Randy Gener, a gay journalist who was found with injuries to his head and face early Friday morning.
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MIDTOWN — Police are investigating the beating of a gay journalist, who was found with injuries to his head and face in Midtown early Friday morning.

Randy Gener, who has written about theater and culture for a variety of publications, including National Public Radio, The Village Voice and The New York Times, was attacked just before 4 a.m. Friday, on Seventh Avenue near 54th Street, police said.

Gener’s friends say he had just left the opening night party for the Broadway play "Machinal" when the attack occurred.

An NYPD official said Gener appeared to have been punched in the face, and was taken to St. Luke’s hospital. Gener’s sister, Jessica Driessler, said he suffered a skull fracture that required brain surgery, and that he currently remains in the hospital's intensive care unit.

Police released a sketch and description of a suspect in the attack on Monday morning. Authorities described him as standing approximately 6 feet tall, weighing 160 pounds, with short black hair. He was last seen wearing black jeans and a black jacket, police said. 

Sources said police are investigating the attack as a possible hate crime.

Kyoung Park, 31, a friend and colleague of Gener’s, said the attackers did not steal any of Gener’s possessions. Park also said that although Gener is now awake and able to speak, he does not remember much about what happened to him.

“There’s not only a lot of pain, but anger that comes from this pain, and until there’s justice I feel like this won’t be resolved,” Park said.

Gener’s friends and family held a candlelight vigil at 6 p.m. Sunday on the corner of 7th Avenue and 53rd Street, to bring attention to Gener’s case. According to a Facebook page about the event, attendees were encouraged to “show your support to Randy and to proclaim to the world that hate violence will not be tolerated.”

Kyoung Park said he has been impressed with the outpouring of love for Gener, which includes a page set up to raise money for his medical expenses. Gener does not have health insurance, Park said.

“He is really a beloved figure in our community and this really just isn’t fair,” Park said. The amount of knowledge and wisdom he carries with him is invaluable. I just hope he can recover to be able to continue sharing with us his brilliance.

A "prayer rally" was set to also take place Monday at 7 p.m. for supporters, at the Philippine Consulate General, 556 Fifth Ave.

Anyone with information about the attack is asked to call NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 800-577-TIPS.

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