FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Queens Man Arraigned on Indictment Charging Him With
Assault and Menacing as Hate Crimes in Anti-Gay Attack
Defendant Allegedly Called Couple Homophobic Epithet Before Knocking Them Unconscious
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a Queens man was arraigned on an indictment in which he is charged with assault as a hate crime, menacing as a hate crime and aggravated harassment for the alleged attack of a gay couple as they were walking from a Williamsburg bar.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant allegedly assaulted an innocent couple simply because he perceived they were gay. Crimes that target individuals because of their sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or other identity are a threat to everything we stand for here in Brooklyn. The defendant has now been indicted and we intend to seek justice for the victims.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Brandon McNamara, 25, of Middle Village, Queens. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on an indictment in which he is charged with second-degree assault as a hate crime, third-degree menacing as a hate crime, second-degree aggravated harassment and other related offenses. Bail was continued at $15,000 and the defendant was ordered to return to court on January 16, 2019. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the top count.
The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on September 23, 2018, at approximately 12:55 a.m., two men, ages 29 and 30, exited Metropolitan Bar at 559 Lorimer Street. The victims were walking along Metropolitan Avenue and the defendant, who was with several unknown people, was also walking along Metropolitan Avenue and caught up with the victims. He allegedly called them a homophobic slur. It is alleged that the defendant then struck the first victim, causing him to fall to the ground and lose consciousness. The second victim was grabbed and thrown to the ground, also losing consciousness.
A passerby called 911 after seeing the two men unconscious on the ground. The 30-year-old victim suffered a fractured and dislocated left shoulder and the 29-year-old victim suffered a broken finger. Both victims were treated at Woodhull Hospital.
The defendant turned himself in on September 26, 2018 after police released to the media a photo of him which had been taken by a witness.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Albert Suh of the District Attorney’s Civil Rights Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Kelli Muse, Deputy Chief of the Civil Rights Bureau, and under the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Joseph P. Alexis, Chief of the Trial Division.
An indictment is merely an accusation and not proof of a defendant’s guilt