TW: Article contains graphic injury image
Gay couple violently beaten outside Connecticut gay bar they run, police say it wasn’t a hate crime.
A gay couple were violently beaten outside the Connecticut gay bar they own last month.
Casey Fitzpatrick shared (October 11) that he and his husband, Nicholas Ruiz — both owners of Troupe429 in Norwalk, Connecticut — were violently attacked by a male bar patron who allegedly used anti-LGBTQ slurs against the couple, back in September.
The couple say that “a male suspect attended a drag show at the bar but was asked to leave after making female staff feel uncomfortable.”
The man then allegedly refused to leave, instead resorting to “derogatory and anti-LGBTQ words” before becoming suddenly violent.
They add: “He punched Nicholas repeatedly, clawed at his chest, tore the cross necklace from his neck, and ripped his clothes.”
Ruiz required hospital treatment and over 50 stitches across his face, along with $20,000 (£18,700) worth of plastic surgery, Fitzpatrick said in the statement shared through the venue’s website.
Fitzpatrick says the assault falls under a hate crime and that the incident is “being mishandled” by the Norwalk Police Department, who disagree.
“On the evening of Friday, September 23, 2022, Nicholas and I were violently attacked in front of our bar in what we believe was a hate crime”, the statement says.
“Unfortunately, we now believe that the violent assault is being mishandled by the Norwalk Police Department and the City of Norwalk.”
“As of October 11, nearly two and a half weeks after the assault, no charges have been filed, nor has the suspect been arrested.”
The Norwalk Police Department since shared (October 13) that they had arrested a suspect, Carmen Everett Parisi, earlier that day, telling NBC News that they found no evidence that the assault qualified as a hate crime:
“The arrest follows the Police Department’s warrant issued by a judge, after completing investigative steps of reviewing of video footage from inside the bar and attempting to get sworn statements from the two victims,” Lt. Terrence Blake, the Norwalk Police Department’s public information officer and LGBTQ liaison, said in a statement Wednesday.
“Video footage from the body-worn, on-the-scene body cameras show no findings of any racial, religious, ethnic, or sexual orientation (RRES) language or indication of any anti-LGBTQ motivation associated with the assault.”
A support page created by the couple can be found here.
View this post on Instagram