Attorney Calls for Hate Crime for Attack on Owners of Gay Bar Troupe429 – NBC New York

A frightening attack on two owners of a gay bar in Connecticut left one of the victims requiring more than 50 stitches for his face, and now the victims’ attorney is calling on police to charge the alleged suspect with hate crimes.

Police in Norwalk said they arrested Carmen Parisi on Wednesday for the alleged attack that occurred at Troupe429. A day later, he made his first court appearance, where prosecutors said there were more than just punches flying during the Sept. 23 incident — claiming Parisi hurled anti-gay slurs.

“We believe that once all of this comes to light it will be evident that this was a hate crime,” said attorney Stephanie Stich, who said one of her clients was hit in the face, while the other was punched in the throat.

But Parisi’s attorney told a difference story. He said his client was escorted out of the bar, and then attacked.

“He says that while outside with the bar owner, he was rushed by staff at the bar and they began choking him and then he was let go and he got away and he was chased,” said defense attorney David Marantz.

The investigation into the incident has been slowed by what police describe as a miscommunication.

“We want to do the right thing for everybody, so that’s the message we are trying to get out is, yes. Did we make some mistakes communicating? Possibly, but our ultimate goal hasn’t changed. We want to do a thorough investigation ,” said Norwalk Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik.

Norwalk police said they have reviewed video from inside the bar as well as police-worn cameras, but have not found evidence thus far of a hate crime.

“We take these allegations of hate speech including anti-LGBTQ hate speech very seriously,” said Lt. Terry Blake.

The attorney tells me victims and witnesses are giving sworn statements to investigators today and the police say if there is evidence of a hate crime, charges will be amended

Parisi faces charges including two counts of assault in the third degree. The judge set bail at $200,000.

Police said there is an ongoing investigation and anyone with any further information is asked to call department at (203) 854-3111.

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