A man is shaken up and ready to bolt the Big Apple out of fear for his safety, he said, after he suffered a homophobic attack in Queens on December 8 and received no help from police officers.
Ronald Albarracin, a 24-year-old gay man who hails from Ecuador, said he was on his way back from a bar when he was attacked, unprovoked, at Northern Boulevard and 99th Street in North Corona at around 3:30 a.m. The alleged assailants started calling him names and homophobic slurs before the attack turned physical. Albarracin was punched and kicked, leaving him with a broken nose, bruises, and several visible marks on his hands and face.
He escaped from the scene and called police as soon as he could. An ambulance and police officers both arrived shortly thereafter.
“The police did not do anything even though they saw me with blood,” Albarracin told Gay City News in Spanish through a translator, Karmina Lima Fonseca, who is the editor of Gay City News’ sister publication El Correo. “They did not even say anything or explain anything. They did not speak Spanish and did not try at all to understand what was going on.”
NYPD spokesperson Denise Moroney, a detective, did not comment on Albarracin’s complaints about police but confirmed to Gay City News that cops responded to Albarracin’s 911 call. She said the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the case, though she did not describe it as an anti-gay attack. Police said they have no description of the alleged attackers.
After cops apparently blew him off, medics transferred Albarracin to Elmhurst Hospital — but he said he had a poor experience there as well. He was not provided anything for pain relief and has since endured nosebleeds and episodes of pain.
It was not the first time Albarracin suffered an anti-LGBTQ attack or discrimination due to his sexual orientation, but he wants it to be his last. He is now planning on moving upstate to an area roughly three hours north of the city — and in the meantime he is too afraid to even leave his home.
“I do not dare to go out into the street with the way I am, with the broken nose,” he said. “I cannot even take off my hat because of how my face looks. I have not even gone to work.”
There have been a series of homophobic and transphobic attacks in Queens throughout the year. A gay couple said they were attacked while eating at Pollos Mario at 81-01 Roosevelt Avenue on September 13 and trans women Bianey Garcia and Norma Ureiro were hit with anti-LGBTQ slurs and pepper spray at Roosevelt Avenue and 82nd Street in Jackson Heights, the day before the WorldPride/ Stonewall 50 March in New York City.
In an effort to bring awareness to the attack, Albarracin and other advocates are holding a press conference on December 18 at 1 p.m. at Corona Plaza at 103rd Street and Roosevelt Avenue.
“I am not going to let it go,” Albarracin said. “I want to look for justice.”