According to police reports, the attack on Randy Gener, the 46-year-old gay journalist, that took place in Midtown Manhattan, was not a hate crime.
24-year-old Leighton Jennings of Queens was charged by the police on Wednesday in the beating of the gay journalist. According to detectives, Jennings had been seen by witnesses in a confrontation with the journalist. He was also recorded on surveillance video when he was having the argument which took place around 3 a.m. on Jan. 17 near the corner of 54th Street and Seventh Avenue. The assault on Gener took place shortly after the argument.
According to the police, the confrontation between Mr. Gener and Mr. Jennings took place when Gener accidently bumped into a woman who was with Jennings. The incident took place on the sidewalk and the dispute became heated very quickly. After that, Jennings stepped in and punched Gener who fell on the pavement. The impact with the pavement caused his skull to crack.
The motive behind the crime was not clear for more than a week. According to police reports, Gener was found unconscious after the incident; his wallet, phone and jewelry was not stolen, so an attempt of robbery was ruled out. According to the Police Department’s hate crimes unit, the attack may have been motivated by bias, but the detectives found nothing to indicate that it was actually a hate crime.
After the incident, Mr. Gener was hospitalized. He underwent a severe brain surgery. According to his doctors, he was awake on Monday and was quite active. He was eager and alert and was talking about work, discussing the freelance articles he writes on theater and gay rights issues for a number of publications. His work has been published in The New York Times and The Miami Herald.
Mr. Gener’s friends and relatives held vigils for him, including one at the Philippine Consulate General on Fifth Avenue. According to his family, Gener is likely to need months of rehabilitation.