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NYC Gay Basher Stripped of Rank

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Air Force Staff Sgt. Benjamin Ford, accused of assaulting three men outside a Manhattan bar in September, has been stripped of his rank.

Ford, a master at defusing bombs, faced charges in the assault on Blake Hayes, a 24-year-old radio DJ, and Alec Bell and Danny Calvert in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood.

According to the New York Daily News, the Bronze Star recipient screamed "Die of AIDS, you f----- queers!" during the attack.

The search for Ford took New York City police through Virginia and into the United Kingdom, according to a news release from New York City council speaker Christine Quinn, who has been active in the case.

"Through an agreement between the NYPD and the U.S. Air Force, he was charged in a military court with 3 counts of assault and battery, 1 count of issuing a false statement (AF Form 1158), in violation of Article 107 of Military code," said the statement from Quinn. "His punishment will include dock pay for the month of September, a loss of a stripe and lowering of his rank."

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