NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Family and friends of an openly gay journalist savagely beaten in Midtown earlier this month held a vigil Sunday night and are asking for the public’s help to track down his attacker.
As WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reported, Randy Gener — an award-winning arts journalist who has worked for the New York Daily News, The New York Times, the Village Voice and NPR — was on his way home from a party near West 54th Street and Seventh Avenue in the early hours of Jan. 17 when he was attacked and left in a pool of his own blood.
His friend, Liz Casasola, said no one knows who might be responsible for the beating. She said the assailant or assailants did not steal Gener’s wallet.
“He’s always there for everyone in the theater and Filipino community, it’s hard to picture it happening to someone like him,” she said.
Gener, 45, has undergone brain surgery at St. Luke’s Hospital since the attack and is scheduled to have another.
“He’s coming in and out of consciousness, and he is not quite aware of what’s going on,” Casasola said.
The vigil attracted a crowd near the scene of the assault which is now being investigated as a hate crime, CBS 2’s Steve Langford reported.
Gener had attended a performance on Broadway that evening and was only a short walk from his home his spouse Stephen Nisbet explained.
“Three more minutes he would have been in his own bed,” Nisbet said.
Instead Gener was badly beaten across the street from his apartment.
“He got hit really hard on the head so he suffered traumatic brain injuries,” Nisbet said.
Gener’s sister Jessica Blair- Driessler rushed to New York from the west coast to be with her brother. She pleaded for a witness to come forward.
“If you saw anything that night please tell the police,” she said.
Vigil organizers said that there were two main purposes for the gathering; to show support for Gener and to put pressure on investigators to find out what really happened.
“There must be a way to find out who did this,” Aaron Mack Schloff told CBS 2’s Dave Carlin, “It’s a violent assault and whoever did it must be brought to justice.”
Family and friends hope that Gener’s memory will improve and that he will be able to tell investigators what happened and maybe who attacked him.
The NYPD said it is looking at the attack as a possible bias crime. Anyone with information is asked to call 800-577-TIPS.
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