‘Net A New Chilling Gay-Bashing Weapon

Michael SandyNEW YORK – Sickening violence against homosexuals is nothing new, but using the Internet to lure victims elevates attacks from random hate to premeditated evil, experts say.
Last week, interior designer Michael Sandy was lured to a gay hookup spot in Brooklyn, allegedly by a group of thugs who exchanged flirtatious messages with him in a gay chat room.
The victim was robbed, beaten and then chased onto the Belt Parkway, where he was struck by a hit-and-run vehicle. He died days later.
Three Brooklyn men have been arrested and face hate-crime charges.
“One of the things that is particularly disturbing is that it just seems so calculated the way they went about doing this,” said Clarence Patton, executive director of the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project.
He said that the use of the Internet as a tool for anti-gay violence was so new that his organization barely had a grip on the number of attacks but that he knew they were up.
“I do know that it’s something that we see happening with more frequency in recent years, clearly as the Internet has become a vehicle for people to meet in a lot of different settings,” Patton told The Post.
“Just in the last year, there were a number of Internet-setup cases on Long Island.”
Police have said this particular M.O. – using the Internet to gay bash – seems new to them.
“I don’t know if [the] Hate Crimes [Unit] has had a case quite like this one,” said Officer Thomas Vierni, the lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender liaison for the NYPD. “If something like this has happened before, we’d like to know about it.”
from The New York Post

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