Damian Furtch was attacked at a McDonald’s branch

The man arrested for the brutal beating of a gay man in New York City says he can’t be charged with a hate crime because he’s also gay.

Twenty-six-year-old aspiring actor Damian Furtch was attacked at 4:30 a.m. on March 27 in a West Village McDonald’s branch after finishing a work shift at the Pink Tea Cup Restaurant.

According to Furtch, he was ordering food with a friend when he noticed two men staring at him. The men began to tease him for wearing a pink work shirt, pink belt and pink shoes.

Furtch then stepped outside to make a phone call where he was attacked by the men, allegedly with no provocation. He received at least four punches to the face while the men allegedly shouted anti-gay slurs. The attack was captured by a CCTV camera.

Now, one of the attackers, 21 year old Anthony Bray, has handed himself in to police. He claims that he is himself gay and that he punched Furtch because he was “disrespectful” to him and his friends. Bray says that the attack has nothing to do with Furtch’s sexuality.

A police source commented that if this was indeed the case, the attack might not be classified as a hate crime, telling the New York Post that, “It may come down to just two guys having a fistfight”.

Furtch responded to the news of the arrest in a statement: “The fact that the attacker in custody alleges he is gay does not change that fact that he shouted anti-gay slurs while attacking me.”

He also told the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) that, “the attack against me is part of the larger issue of violence against gay and transgender people in New York City. This has to stop. Under no circumstance should a person be attacked for their sexual orientation.”

Furtch added that he is looking “forward to the criminal trial where all of the accurate details will come out”.

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