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Hate Crime Suspects Friend Blames Victim


A friend of one of the suspects in last weekend's brutal hate crime in Queens, N.Y., says that the assault was not a hate crime, and that the victim, an openly gay man, deserved the "beat down." The friend proudly displays a tattoo of the Leviticus passage often used to condemn gay people.

Daniel Rodriguez and Daniel Aleman are charged with a hate crime in the assault of Jack Price early last Friday morning. The 49-year-old Price remained in a medically induced coma for days after the attack outside a deli, which was captured on video.

ABC 7 News spoke with Marcel Gelmi, a friend of Rodriguez, who said that Price had propositioned men in the neighborhood and blown his assailants a kiss, which justified what he called a "beat down."

Gelmi also showed off a shoulder tattoo with the passage from Leviticus 18:22 that says, "Thou shall not lie with a male as one does with a woman. It is an abomination."

According to Gelmi, the victim should not have complained.

"I mean, I don't want no man blowing me a kiss either. I mean, things happen," he said. "I've been beat up like that too, but you don't see me on the news and my family crying and this and that. Wounds heal."

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Julie Bolcer