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Man Accused of Bias Attack at West Village Gay Bar Julius

By DNAinfo Staff on October 18, 2010 12:41pm  | Updated on October 19, 2010 6:27am

Police arrested a man who allegedly attacked patrons and staff inside gay bars in the West Village.
Police arrested a man who allegedly attacked patrons and staff inside gay bars in the West Village.
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DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg

By Shayna Jacobs, Tara Kyle and Yepoka Yeebo

DNAinfo Staff

MANHATTAN — Police arrested a man on charges he allegedly punched a bartender inside New York's oldest gay bar and hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him, police and prosecutors said.

Frederick Giunta, 45, of Queens, was arrested Friday on charges of assault as a hate crime, after the alleged attack inside Julius Bar last Monday afternoon, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

"What are you going to do, you f---ing n----r, you are a f---ing f----t," Giunta yelled before punching the 38-year-old man inside 159 W. 10th Street around 5:40 p.m. Oct. 11, according to the criminal complaint.

The bartender, who was not identified, was trying to escort an apparently drunk and belligerent Giunta from the bar when he was hit, according to fellow bartender Alex Michaels, who was not present for the attack.

"He became volatile and was using words of hate," Michaels said.

Julius Bar cook Melvin Hill, 51, had a view of the incident from the kitchen, where he has worked for six years.

"I was shocked to seen grown-up men doing this," Hill said. "This is the first time I've seen something like this."

Giunta apparently had been banned from the Julius Bar a decade earlier, but staff didn't recognize him as the same man, Michaels said. The Manhattan District Attorney's Hate Crimes Unit is investigating the incident, officials said.

Giunta's alleged crime spree started around 5:30 p.m. in front of Ty’s Bar at 114 Christopher St., where a "highly intoxicated" Giunta tried to steal a Brooklyn man's wallet before punching him, police said.

The unidentified victim was treated for a laceration that required stitches at Beth Israel Hospital, police said. Staffers at the bar declined comment.

Giunta was charged with attempted robbery in that incident, but not assault. That incident has not been classified as a hate crime at this time, prosecutors said.

Monday's attacks follow other recent high-profile incidents at gay bars in the area, including one at the Stonewall Inn, a gay rights landmark.

Police there arrested two Staten Island men on charges they beat a patron inside the bar's bathroom on Oct. 3. That incident followed another attack at the corner of Ninth Avenue and West 25th Street in Chelsea, when Andrew Jackson, 20, allegedly punched three men after seeing them hug each other goodbye.

At a press conference Monday afternoon, State Sen. Tom Duane connected the incidents to gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino's recent anti-gay remarks. Paladino recently said that children shouldn't be "brainwashed" into thinking homosexuality is OK.

"If 1 percent fo the attacks are a result of what Carl Paladino has said, it is on him," Duane said.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced plans to meet Tuesday with bar owners, community advocates and the NYPD.

"It was hard to believe that this happened at the Stonewall Inn and then again," Quinn said at a press conference Monday afternoon at Julius. "It was so purposeful. It was like the perpetrator went out hunting to find gay people."

Local bars are now on high alert, Michaels said.

"We're just trying to keep awareness in the community from bar to bar," he said. "We haven't seen a real decline in morale."

Julius Bar owner Helen Buford released a statement Monday afternoon saying that her staff was taking extra precautions to ensure that the bar "will continue to be a safe, fun place."

Sharon Stapel, executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project, said in an e-mail that this latest incident highlights the need to combat homophobic attitudes.

"It is unacceptable that perpetrators of anti-LGBTQ violence feel emboldened to come into any neighborhood, including gay-friendly neighborhoods, and attack LGBTQ people because of who we are," she said.

Giunta is being held on $25,000 bail on Rikers Island, and is due back in court on Oct. 21, authorities said.

Authorities said Giunta has a history of theft, including stealing someone's credit card and racking up $46 in charges in Queens earlier this year, and two incidents in Midtown in the past decade, sources said.

He is currently reporting to a parole officer in Queens following release on Sept. 28 from a 90-day term at Willard Drug Treatment Center in Seneca County, according to the Department of Correction.

He also had a criminal history in Pennsylvania dating back to 1986, sources said.