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White Supremacist Group Beats Up Twin Brothers Outside Punk Bar, Police Say

By Allegra Hobbs | February 13, 2017 2:00pm
 Police arrested John Young, 29, in connection with the assault outside Clockwork Bar early Saturday morning.
Police arrested John Young, 29, in connection with the assault outside Clockwork Bar early Saturday morning.
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Shutterstock/Katrina Brown

LOWER EAST SIDE — A group of men affiliated with a white supremacist group beat up a pair of twin brothers outside a punk bar early Saturday morning, police said.

The victims, both 27, were attacked by several men wearing matching vests with "211" patches outside Clockwork Bar at 21 Essex St. at 12:55 a.m., police said. The 211 crew is a reportedly violent gang linked to white supremacy.

One of the twins told the New York Post, which first reported the story, that the crew was angered by a sticker on his brother's phone that read "New York City Anti-Fascists" — a group dedicated to combating "fascist cultural and political organizing" that was recently involved in a violent protest against a far-right comedian at New York University. 

“One of the guys … sees [my brother’s] phone, grabs it and starts screaming, ‘I know what the f— that means, I know what the f— that sticker is, you need to get the f— out of here,” the anonymous victim told the Post.

The group snatched the phone then started kicking and punching the brothers' heads repeatedly, police said. While the brothers were knocked to the ground, the gang threatened them with a knife, according to authorities.

Police arrested one of the group members, identified as John Young, 29, of Washington D.C.

Young has been charged with two counts of assault as well as menacing, criminal mischief, and criminal possession of a weapon, police said. He had not been arraigned as of Monday morning, according to the Manhattan District Attorney's office.

The attack is being investigated by the NYPD's Hate Crime Task Force, authorities said, though they identified the 211 crew only as a nationalist group.

Both victims were taken to New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital where they got several stitches in their heads, according to authorities. 

The owner of Clockwork Bar said he wasn't around at the time of the attack but was disturbed it had occurred outside his bar. He also said the 211 crew is unwelcome at his establishment.

"We're saddened by the attacks on those victims and we hope that they're ok," said bar owner Frank Scotto.

"And furthermore, we don't endorse any neo-Nazi, white supremacist, skinheads, or 211 or anything like that — we don't hold events, we don't invite them, we don't want them here."

Scotto said he has been in "constant contact" with police since the attack and plans to meet with 7th Precinct officials on Tuesday.