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Barie Shortell required 10 hours of surgery to repair his jaw and three metal plates in his head following an antigay attack last month in Willamsburg, Brooklyn, one of New York City's most popular neighborhoods for gay residents and nightlife.
According to The Brooklyn Paper, six teenagers wearing hooded sweatshirts pinned Shortell to a wall on the night of February 22, fracturing his jaw, nose, and eye sockets. He had crossed from N. 4th Street to Wythe Avenue to avoid a menacing taunt from the group.
"I feel pretty confident they perceived me as a gay man and attacked me, but I can't understand why they did what they did," Shortell told TheBrooklyn Paper. "I looked horrible. Blood was everywhere."
One of the surgeons who operated on Shortell compared the impact to a car accident. The 29-year-old faces $100,000 in medical debts with no health insurance, prompting his friends to hold a benefit for him this Wednesday.
No suspects have been arrested in the case, which police classify as a hate crime.
News of the vicious attack arrives as the area mourns Anthony Collao, a Long Island teenager who was beaten to death with a pipe in an antigay attack at a party in Queens over the weekend.