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Alleged Gay Basher Found In England

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An Air Force staff sergeant who is suspected of beating three gay men in New York City has been tracked down in London. Staff Sgt. Benjamin Ford was questioned by a New York Police Department Intelligence Division detective in London but has not been formally charged.

One of the three victims, Blake Hayes, a 24-year-old DJ for WPLJ FM radio, said Ford flicked a cigarette at him and his friends outside McCoy's Bar in Hell's Kitchen on September 26, then said, "Keep moving, faggot."

According to police, Hayes and his friends retaliated by making fun of Ford's baldness, which resulted in an escalation when Ford pushed Hayes and punched one of the DJ's friends. "Die of AIDS, you fucking queers," Ford yelled before returning to the bar.

Police responded but did not take a report, the victims said. The NYPD Internal Affairs department is investigating the situation.

Ford is an expert at defusing bombs, and he was in New York on assignment to help protect President Obama and other world leaders when Obama spoke at the United Nations. Ford said he was at the scene of the fight but insisted the alleged victims started the altercation, a source told New York Daily News.

After consulting with Hayes and his friends, the NYPD and the Manhattan prosecutor's office have agreed to let the U.S. military try Ford and punish him if he is found guilty in the attack.

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