Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Gay Bashing Costs New Jersey Burger King $3.15 Million

Union City, New Jersey – “They thought they were going to die.” James Fine, attorney for a gay couple attacked in 2007 at the Union City Burger King, said to NJ.com, that the large award granted to his clients was more than justified, given the severity of the assault: “The manager and a group of angry restaurant employees chased the couple and then mercilessly kicked, beat and spat upon the two men while screaming hate-filled anti-gay invectives.” Peter Casbar, 43, and Noel Robichaux, 46, got into a dispute at the local fast food restaurant which turned ugly, and then escalated as the couple fled out into the street. What had begun as a disagreement over an order at the counter exploded into a full-blown gay bashing.  LGBTQ Nation reports that the gay men refused to take the hate crime attack lying down, and filed a suit under New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination against Food Service Properties Corporation and Union City Restaurant Corporation which own seven Burger Kings including the one at 3501 Bergenline Avenue where the crime took place. Two employees of the restaurant, Christopher Soto and Angel Caraballo, have pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated assault against Robichaux and Casbar. The harshness of the violence was compounded for the gay men because of the hatred expressed against their sexual orientation, as a psychologist testified in the civil court case. The multi-million dollar size of the monetary award, which included $1.7 million in punitive damages, indicates the gravity with which the jury took the attack.  According to NJ.com, the jury returned the verdict and damages within three hours of entering the jury room last Wednesday.  At first, the plaintiffs were overcome with emotion by the court action. Attorney Fine said they were unable to speak. Joseph R. Donahue, another attorney representing Robichaux and Casbar, said to reporters, “The jury took this beating of our clients very seriously. I think it is a very big case and we are very pleased.” Attorney Fine concurred, “Violence against anybody, including gay people, cannot be condoned. The jury spoke to the issue.”

February 27, 2011 Posted by | Anglo Americans, Anti-LGBT hate crime, Beatings and battery, Burger King, gay bashing, gay men, Hate Crimes, hate speech, Heterosexism and homophobia, Latino and Latina Americans, Law and Order, Legislation, New Jersey, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Slurs and epithets | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


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