NEW YORK (1010 WINS/CBS 2) — More than 40 years ago, homosexuals and police clashed violently at the Stonewall Inn, and out of that riot the gay rights movement was born. That history makes the alleged homophobic hate crime even tougher to take for patrons. However, the attorney for a suspect denied bias played a part in the attack.

Listen: 1010 WINS’ John Montone reports.

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Police said 21-year-old Matthew Francis of Staten Island told a patron, Benjamin Carver, in the bathroom that he doesn’t like gays, then beat the man bloody while 17-year-old Christopher Orlando of Staten Island blocked the door.

Francis’ attorney said the incident was only a bar brawl. Police said the men were yelling anti-gay slurs.

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Carver needed stitches after the attack. He said he still loves New York.

The attack left other bar patrons disgusted. “It’s kind of a shock because this is a very beautiful bar. It’s very well known. It’s been here for so many years,” one man said.

“We live in a society that’s not very nice, no matter who’s in office,” another patron said.

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Moreno, who was visiting from South Carolina said he thought he would be safe around there. “But to have something to happen like that across the street, for somebody to get bashed like that is appalling,” he said.