Queens men arrested in antigay attack

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com March 04 2003 1:00 AM ET

Three Queens, N.Y., men have been arrested for assaulting a Manhattan man and yelling antigay slurs at him in an apparent bias crime, police said. The victim, identified as Raymond Spreng, 53, was attacked on the upper east side of Manhattan around 4 a.m. on Sunday while walking home from a neighborhood
bar. The three suspects--Sucjovic Mirsad, 22; Oscar Afre, 22; and Christopher Pan, 26--were arrested on first-degree assault charges, said Sgt. Dennis Ferber, a police spokesman. Police said the men punched Spreng and beat him with a metal bike frame for more than 10 minutes.

Spreng, a cardiac technician, said the men began chasing him near the intersection of 86th Street and East End Avenue. Spreng said the attackers threatened to kill him and continued charging him after he told them that he didn't want any trouble. He said he decided to wipe his blood on his attackers "to mark them," according to published reports. "That was the only thing I could defend myself with--my blood, that they drew," he said. Finally, Spreng said, he heard a police siren--"the most beautiful sound
ever." He was treated for lacerations and bruises at Weill Cornell Medical Center and released on Sunday.