A local gay man was arrested on Tuesday for the recent brick attacks on a popular Hell’s Kitchen gay bar in NYC.
Sean Kuilan, 34, was taken into custody and charged with criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, and criminal possession of a weapon for three of the four incidents at the VERS gay nightclub which took place within the past two weeks, The Gothamist reports. Three of the incidents were caught on video, and Kuilan was identified with the help of tips to the Crime Stoppers hotline.
NYPD chief of detectives James Essig said investigators do not believe the crimes were motivated by anti-gay hatred, but instead resulted from a personal dispute Kuilan’s female friend had with the VERS nightclub.
“Basically, what he says [is] he knows a girl who had a problem with one of the guys in the bar and he was ‘exacting revenge,’” Essig was quoted by the NY Post. “As of right now we don’t have any reason to believe it is [a hate crime].”
Video of the “perp walk” at the NY Post showed the muscled and handcuffed Kulian escorted to an awaiting unmarked police car.
“I’m gay myself,” he quietly responded to reporters’ questions in the video.
“Something personal,” he responded when asked why he allegedly threw the bricks.
Kuilan, who reportedly goes by the moniker “Paper Kid” in the neighborhood, was also arrested on an outstanding warrant for a 2021 incident of menacing. In that case, he allegedly pulled a knife on a victim and asked them, “Are you okay with dying?”
A Facebook page bearing Kuilan’s name and apparent likeness extols his weightlifting prowess, claiming he leg presses over 920 pounds, deadlifts over 400, squats over 310, and has a bench press max of 300 pounds.
VERS owner, David DeParolesa, posted a statement to social media, thanking the community for their help in identifying and apprehending the person believed responsible for the attacks.
“Thanks to our neighbors, our friends, and the media for everything they’ve done over the past few days to help us spread the word about the string of attacks at VERS,” DeParolesa wrote. “We are pleased to hear that a suspect has been found and taken into custody, although it is still unclear if he worked alone. The investigation continues.”
DeParolesa pointedly did not mention police in the statement. He had earlier said police appeared disinterested and dismissive when he first reported the crimes, and claimed they even tried to dissuade him from contacting the NYPD Hate Crime Task Force.
“They weren't seemingly interested in investigating it at the moment,” DeParolesa told the Gothamist. “They were really nonchalant.”