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Police Arrest Homeless Man in West Village Attack

By DNAinfo Staff on April 2, 2011 1:58pm  | Updated on April 3, 2011 9:25am

By Tara Kyle

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN — Police have arrested a 21-year-old homeless man for allegedly beating of a gay victim at a West Village McDonald's last weekend, according to the New York Post.

The suspect, Anthony Bray, faces a charge of misdemeanor assault, the Post reported.

The attack, which was carried out by two men, occurred around 4:30 a.m. last Sunday and left 26-year-old Damian Furtch with two swollen eyes.

Although police have been investigating the attack as a possible hate crime, police sources told the Post that Bray claims he is also gay.

The fact that the suspect is young, homeless and purportedly gay left one of Furtch's best friends, Anthony Decarlis, in a state of disbelief.

"That someone with all those obstacles up against him could do something so terrible is just shocking," Decarlis said, noting that Furtch is coping "the best he can."

Bray told police that Furtch "disrespected" him, according to the Post.

While Bray, has not yet been charged with a hate crime, the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is continuing to explore Furtch's allegations, the Post reported.

"It may come down to just two guys having a fistfight," one police source said to the Post.

Decarlis and other friends and acquaintances of Furtch have described him as a gentle, protective person adverse to violence.

Just before Bray allegedly threw three punches outside of the McDonald's, he and Furtch exchanged words at the food counter and on the way out of the door, police sources told the Post.

In a statement to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Furtch said was followed by two men when he left the McDonald's. He said he told one of them he "had no problem with him or his friends."

Police arrested Bray in Bushwick following a tip that led officers to reach out to Bray's family, the Post reported.

The NYPD is still searching a second suspect, according to the Post.