Teens beat up Williamsburg man in gay hate crime

The Brooklyn Paper
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A group of teenage thugs viciously assaulted a Brooklyn man in Williamsburg last month because they thought he was gay.

Barie Shortell, 29, was on N. Fourth Street on Feb. 22 at around 10:10 pm when he brushed past six teenagers wearing hooded sweatshirts.

“Oh s–t, is that a guy or a girl?” one of the teens yelled. Shortell thought to himself that the slur was “juvenile,” but he crossed to Wythe Avenue just to be safe.

But the group followed and shoved Shortell against a wall, fracturing his jaw, nose and eye sockets. He has no recollection of the attack.

“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,” said Shortell. “I looked horrible. Blood was everywhere.”

Shortell was taken to Woodhull Hospital, where surgeons operated for nearly 10 hours resetting his jaw and putting three metal plates in his head. A surgeon compared the force of impact to that of a car accident.

Police closed the case initially, but classified it a hate crime after the wAnti-Violence Project interceded.

But no arrest has been made.

Shortell, who does not have medical insurance, remains focused on his recovery and his medical debts — which could cost $100,000. His friends have already organized a fundraiser for him next week.

“Gay Bash: A Benefit for Barie Shortell,” at Blackout Bar [916 Manhattan Ave. at Kent Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383-0254], March 23, 7 pm. Admission, $35. For info,

Updated 5:23 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Joey from Clinton Hills says:
scary and depressing. There should be a curfew for teenagers.
March 17, 2011, 10:01 am
curious from Williamsburg says:
Why does he have a baleen?
March 17, 2011, 12:12 pm
J from williamsburg says:
Sorry to say it but the issue is the low income housing thats part of the Edge and North Side Piers. It's moved a boat load of degenerates to the neighborhood.
Poor guy, get well soon.
March 17, 2011, 1:28 pm
outoftowner from nowheresville says:
"Why does he have a baleen?"

It's to hold his jaw in place while it heals. Its a set up of temporary braces with a bunch of rubber bands instead of having his jaw completely wired shut.
March 17, 2011, 9:06 pm
Mike from Greenpoint says:
Where's Bernie Goetz when you need him?
March 17, 2011, 10:19 pm
duh from bensonhoist says:
BLACK PEOPLE, TAKE CONTROL OF YOU %^$%# KIDS. THEY ARE ANIMALS. This is not a third world country, why is this being tolerated? If it were a gang of Arabs who did this to someone there would be a lynch mob...

Our forefathers knew exactly what they were doing. Why don't we just import a population of grizzly bears and set the up with apartments? That would be just as safe.
March 18, 2011, 2:23 am
Corey from Greenpoint says:
He required 10 hours of surgery but the police initially closed the case? Let's see - feral kids, an apathetic police force... yep, we're officially a third world nation.
March 18, 2011, 6 am
Darla from Williamsburg says:
The set asides in the Edge and Northside Piers are for nurses, police officers, teachers, firefighters, etc. Wow that sounds like group of degenerates.
Possibly they don't live up to the expectations of the true degenerates that live in the luxury apartments.
March 18, 2011, 6:50 am
jamoke from Bay Ridge says:
Maybe Darla can explain why these punks, in the greatest city in the world, with schools and libraries and resources unimagineable in most places in this country, are raised to become savages.
Every one of these recent events were motivated by racist hate, nothing more.
The sneakers, jeans, jackets, cell phones that I see every single one of these 'teens' outfitted with are paid for by someone. They all have a roof over their head, subsidized rent, and a 'benefit' card. The fine blue-collar workers you describe are failing miserably in instilling even the most basic respect for human life in their 'children'.
Don't become a sacrificial offering to these animals. Malcolm X said it best:
'be non-violent with those that are non-violent with you, but if someone lays a hand on you, send him to the cemetery'.
One day the carry laws in this city will final be changed to allow decent citizens to send some of these savages to the cemetery.
March 18, 2011, 7:51 am
Joe Z. from Greenpoint says:
Why is anyone suprised? It's Obama Time. Don'cha know they're going to get free houses and cars and money? Never mind, they've been getting those for years. Chalk it up to those failed experiments in social engineering, aka housing projects and the welfare state.
March 18, 2011, 8:28 am
Hopper from Los-S_s says:
It's a soon-to-be-former ghetto. These are the growing pains of a changing neighborhood. (There is also a distinct element in this neighborhood that WANTS to keep it trashy and dangerous so as not to be pushed out). The curfew for teens seems to be the only feasible solution. Good luck trying to enforce THAT one. I've seen 'em throwing rocks @ cop cars
March 18, 2011, 8:56 am
whyg from Gowanus says:
wow. seriously awful incident. also an awful lot of racism/classism in the comments. real nice.
March 18, 2011, 10 am
Bill from Bay Ridge says:
Stay classy, heterosexuals.

ALWAYS stay JUST as classy as you are.

March 18, 2011, 10 am
jamoke from bay ridge says:
Tell us whether beating a stranger you see on the street, to within an inch of his life, maybe rendering him with life-long medical problems/brain damage if he lives, is a 'civil' act or a 'savage' act.
Tell us if there is a more 'racist' thing to do than target and attack someone, based alone on the color of their skin (as in lone, white target), since this is the obvious pattern.
Tell us what the 'mitigating' circumstances are in such cases that would warrant, explain, excuse such savagery?
He has a newer i-Phone than you?
March 18, 2011, 10:32 am
Cynthia from Clinton Hill says:
Bulldoze the projects!
March 18, 2011, 10:32 am
James from Nyc says:
Where in the story does it say the kids were black?Some of you are just racist.
March 18, 2011, 3:23 pm
Askia Nur El from Williamsburg says:
"The gentrification pushed them out years ago, now they’re back to make the neighborhood a dump again." I am a resident of the SO-CALLED EDGE and the last time i checked my salary it was 60,000 yearly, maybe meager to to the likes of yourself but hard earned. Your usage of "THEM" and "THEY"RE" uncovers my deep analysis of this upstart colony of pretentious elites who revel in their fake ass bohemian lifestyle. We(Moors and Tainos) see your ilk on the L train in the morning trying to play the hip adventurous Brooklyn natif, we all know when confronted with the true reality of MEDINA(Brooklyn for the fake ass HIPSTER) deers in headlights you'll become, scared to look ya shook. This is Brooklyn if yall aint know, where beat downs by roving wolf pack is getting ya cherry Forest RUN!!. See yall want the spice without the kick and when the —— hits the fan, your true natif is unveiled as Mary the the closet colonist who wishes the natifs would just stay gone. At this moment the Shylocks are furthering the expansion into our territory, my Aunt receives numerous calls from these Shylocks offering to buy her brownstone in the Stuy, her worries increase as she sees the same elitist bohemian in her abode for 100yrs. peer at her with indignation and disdain as she travels upon the G train. This forum will now arise in the the closet colonist they're true deep seated notion of the THEM and THEY and all manner of attachments of criminology will be placed upon the Gangster, Thug, Hoodie wearing Moor or Taino to quell the bigot rage. But we truly catch temporary amnesia when only 30 to 40yrs prior to this date the true original gangster thug within the north and south of this colonial experiment with the force of government, wrecked havoc upon my kind. This aint about no lone beatdown in Williamsburg, but more so about the economic terrorism that is being enacted by these so-called gentrifiers. What is the difference between my indigenous ancestors of yore who confronted these same affronts to their territory and character in this continental mass by the Colonial usurper than the one's here's living and breathing in Williamsburg?
March 18, 2011, 3:43 pm
jeffd from thehook says:
Jamoke,, you are 100% right.

Further the cops trying to close the case early is typical ——ing new york city.
They are also part of the problem, these "keepers of justice" will do anything to get out of writting a report that will cause them to do the slightest bit of overtime, especially fat ones, thus makming it easier to get away with this savagery therefore encouraging it.
Truely disgusted by these "animals" and "pigs" alike!
March 18, 2011, 3:53 pm
LOLcat from Park Slope says:
Anyone else think the real problem is not the beating he got from the kids, but that he now owes 100,000 dollars in health bills? (I thought no fault would cover something like this, but I don't really understand no fault insurance)

Also, the reason this hoodlums exist:

The drug war is basically a war on black people. With their family structure under attack for 50 years it's no wonder minorities kids are out of control. Anyone that thinks black people won the civil rights movement is naive.

America has failed the victim and the culprits. shame.
March 18, 2011, 4:46 pm
Joe Z. from Greenpoint says:
Askia, why don't you cease with the worn out "people of color" diatribe? You spent a lot of time and effort typing that babbling statement without saying anything.

Re your territory, it became yours when the area was being destroyed by blockbusting realtors years ago. They bought up the property from residents who were coerced to sell out of fear of what your "people" will do to a neighborhood once they grab a foothold. It became your territory by default. Nobody in his right mind would want to live in a neighborhood falling into disrepair and on a steady slide into ghettohood. It's easy to point out where "your people" live. Just look for the trash tossed out the windows, graffiti covering the walls of the apartment buildings and the crap which is painted on the sides of buildings, which is passed off as "art".

Your "people" have a warped sense of entitlement, thinking that they are due some special and exceptional exemption from following the rules of society. Ill-mannered and boorish behavior is waved off and is expained as "being real". If you don't have it, you resort to taking from someone who has. Your hoodie wearing Moors and Tainos have as much in common with gangsters as dogs do with penguins. They're nothing more than an agglomeration of undereducated, underachieving, lazy bums who perpetuate their own miserable and pathetic lifestyles because they don't possess the initiative to become successful members of society. They're more concerned with preventing scuff marks on their dress sneakers than they are with obtaining an education. They possess a wolfpack mentality and attempt to intimidate individuals on that basis. Alone, your people are cowards in the truest sense of the word. Do you even know what a shylock is? Don't use words out of context, especially if you haven't a clue as to what the word means. That, in itself, drags whatever credibility you think you have below zero.
March 18, 2011, 5:56 pm
Joe Z. from Greenpoint says:
"Anyone else think the real problem is not the beating he got from the kids, but that he now owes 100,000 dollars in health bills?"

No. You're the only one who does. You're using a straw man arguement to deflect blame from where it belongs. If these animals didn't beat him to a bloody pulp, he wouldn't have a $100,000 medical bill haunting him, would he?

"Also, the reason this hoodlums exist:"

Inability to communicate in English is one reason. "These", not "this".

"With their family structure under attack for 50 years it's no wonder minorities kids are out of control."

You failed to mention that the total disintegration of of stable family environment, which has been pervasive for decades, is self inflicted. Nobody is to blame for this except the people in these situations. There is no parental guidance and discipline by the parent(s) because the parent is no more than a child chronologically, mentally and emotionally.

These hoodlums exist because of the crass and degenerate consumerism to which they are exposed; and, the wish to obtain goods which they can't afford because they lack the education and initiative to become productive members of society by obtaining meaningful employment. They would rather exist as parasites, living off the government teat, because it's easier than taking the responsibility of improving their lives and those of their children. It takes less effort to rob people than to stay in school and educate one's way out of the ghetto.

These hoodlums exist, not because of societal problems which are handily explained by double talking technocrats and community organizers who try to look for government intervention by way of taxpayer money; but, because of the abject lack of any parental controls of their behavior and the absence of any type of moral values and ethics infused into their lives. The government shouldn't be responsible for raising one's children.
March 18, 2011, 10:20 pm
Askia Nur El from Williamsburg says:
@Joe Z:
What I am trying to say is that this was probably done by black people. I don't like black people any more than my other muslim brothers and sisters, but we other people of color can not be held accountable for the crimes that they commit.
I'm sorry, but I just can't have you lumping us all together. It was smelly black teenagers, and that's all there is to say about this.
March 19, 2011, 10 am
Laquifa from Brownsville says:
I agree with Askia - it's the fault of other people, maybe even the man who was beaten himself that the assaulters assaulted him. No personal responsibility can be put on them. They are just too mentally inferior to other people to be able to think for themselves. In fact, I think that every decision they make should be blamed on other people.
March 19, 2011, 10:02 am
Cynthia from Clinton Hill says:
James from Nyc says:
Where in the story does it say the kids were black?Some of you are just racist Well its obvious we all know it couldv been?
March 21, 2011, 10:43 am
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
in an episode of Flight of the Conchords, the guys in the band got mugged in Williamsburg by two white guys from Staten Island.
March 21, 2011, 12:58 pm
Mr Queen from Wburg North Side says:
Dear GLBTs

If you think that *anyone* cares about your rights, you are sadly misinformed. No one is going to do the dirty work for you. If you want respect, you have to EARN it. If this story didn't piss you off, are you waiting for your turn at the hands of these vermin? Taking names for a hunting pack of our own now. They've taken one down, and now that they've gotten away with it ("case closed") they will be emboldened to do it again, trust. Warm weather is coming and they strike again.
March 21, 2011, 1:42 pm
Voice of Truth from Burg says:
I have no idea what the f that aksia person is talking about in a paragraph of gibberish. However, can I ask aksia and his neighbors to please stop idling their mufflerless cars pumping bass music outside of the edge at all hours of the night? People paid their hard earned dollars to live there, and as a byproduct you are getting a 2 bedroom apartment in prime williamsburg for $1k a month. The least you could do is show some respect for your neighbors.
March 23, 2011, 12:35 pm
borricua proud from williamsburg says:
James from Nyc says:
Where in the story does it say the kids were black?Some of you are just racist.
March 23, 2011, 5:02 pm
borricua proud from williamsburg says:
James from Nyc says:
Where in the story does it say the kids were black?Some of you are just racist.
Report abuseMarch 18, 4:23 pm

Good point. Demographics say more likely puerto rican.
March 23, 2011, 5:02 pm
Erin from Kensington says:
Kind of can't believe the racism going on in these comments here. Hate is not the answer people. And all oppressions are interconnected.
March 25, 2011, 9:20 pm
gem from bushwick says:
@Erin - word. We are getting out of touch here. A person was assaulted because some jackasses decided that his identity, of which he should be proud, is wrong and that they are justified to "correct" it. Who gives a —— what color/background the bullies are from. Debating it is only causing more heat, which will only lead to more violence and hatred. I'm sick and tired of feeling unsafe in my own neighborhood because everyone hates each other so much.
April 9, 2011, 10:30 pm
Erika from The Bronx says:
wow wow wow. this man being brutalized for his perceived sexuality is absolutely terrible. i am disturbed that these young people had nothing better to do than troll the streets looking for people who they deemed "weird or different" to violate . . . i'm also concerned that certain readers took the time to think out and then share incredibly stereotypical and demeaning viewpoints. This tragedy is about homophobia, not minorities and people of low income. Unless of course you're saying that all poor people and all blacks and latinos are homophobic. . . ‘cause that tottalllllly makes sense.

i'm not going to take the time to address every single ignorant point made here, but know that making gross generalizations about a whole race or "class" of people will lead to further violence and division.

as for Askia and Laquifa not all Muslims are as bigoted as yourselves, in fact . . . some Muslims are black. they have the same values and follow the same tenets. . . minus the bigotry and superiority complexes, i'd hope.
April 14, 2011, 2:21 pm
NYCsincebirth from LES,NY says:
I grew in NYC and this type of thing happened all the time. Its so sad, why do we have subsidized housing? The housing goes to teachers and police officers? Give me a break, we all know it goes to stoop sitting car washing idiots. That watch and laugh in the morning while decent people go off to work.

Even if it did isn't every form of honest work worthy in the same way?

Because we have corrupt politicians that are like the race mafia. Hopefully some more decent people will stay and NY will one day not be the bizarro world. And you bleeding heart liberals, live here long enough with open eyes and see your opinions change.

Anytime you have a lottery for apartments you are just stealing from one group to give to another. Save me the history lesson its wrong.

By the way I went to public school, survived to live the American dream and I am a ethnic minority.
April 18, 2011, 7:51 pm
Justin from clinton says:
to all gay people out there i am gay as well we cant afford to be soft with these type of people in the world. we need to work out more and go to the gym so that when these ——s try to press us they can get the —— knocked out of them.
Aug. 22, 2011, 2:36 am
ashly from Brooklyn willamsburg says:
Smh i am teen who lives by North 6 and it is around a small ghetto part that is still left un touched by new apartment buildings.. when i read this i thought this was sad because the teens that do live around there go to theses nice areas and beat up and rob people simply because THEY HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO.. i dont think it was black ppl i think it was that stupid lil gang that is around south side. theses teens dont know much English nd are the scum that is keeping Brooklyn from bettering it self. i cant tell u how much i cant wait for alll of south side to be torn down nd made into something better and kick theses stupid hoodlum ppl out.. my heart and prayers goes to this man this shouldn't of happen. North side is soo wonderful i love going there every thing there is soo nice .. but to the ppl that live there take note please walk in groups when passing the south side at night or at any time theses hoodlums will do something if they feel ur an easy target ..
Oct. 8, 2011, 7 pm

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