A New York man was sentenced to 10 years in jail yesterday for his role in the 2021 beating and stabbing of two gay men in a Brooklyn bodega that left the victims hospitalized with collapsed lungs.
Christopher Clemente, 38, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, received the sentence in a Brooklyn courtroom after pleading guilty last month to attempted second-degree murder as a hate crime for the attack on September 4, 2022, according to a report in the NY Daily News. Clemente, a member of the Bloods street gang, and two other men violently attacked the victims, aged 36 and 29, with a glass bottle, a screwdriver, and their fists while shouting antigay sentiments. One of his alleged accomplices, Jonathan Carter, 31, of Ocean Hill, awaits trial and a third accomplice remains at large.
“This vicious attack on two innocent victims was an intolerable act of anti-gay violence, and today’s sentence sends a strong message that we will vigorously prosecute anyone who commits a hate crime,” Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a statement. “Nobody should fear that they’ll be attacked because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and we are committed to vigilantly protecting the rights of Brooklyn’s LGBTQ community.”
Clemente and his alleged accomplices encountered the two victims as they awaited food shortly after 2 a.m. at a bodega near Broadway and Weirfield Streets on the night of the attack. Police say a dispute arose and the three men began to verbally accost the pair for their sexual identity.
“It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!” one of the three men reportedly shouted at the two men who identify as gay.
Clemente then punched the older man in the face while Carter allegedly struck him with a glass liquor bottle, causing the man to fall to the floor. Clemente used a screwdriver to repeatedly stab the victim about the head and body as he lay prone on the ground.
Clemente and the third alleged attacker then chased the younger man from the bodega. When they caught him, Clemente punched and stabbed the man repeatedly about the face and body while yelling homophobic epithets and slurs.
“We’re not with that gay sh*t!” Clemente shouted as he attacked the younger victim, the Daily News reports.
The younger victim suffered two collapsed lungs and multiple stab wounds, and was hospitalized for 13 days. The older victim suffered multiple stab wounds and a single collapsed lung.
Clemente was originally indicted on 26 counts including first-degree murder as a hate crime. He turned himself in to the police after his photos were released to the public and has been held on bond since his arraignment. Following the completion of his time served behind bars, Clemente will also serve five years of supervised release.
Carter is currently free on bail. His next scheduled court appearance is March 9.