Gay Bashing Witness: “I Don’t See How It Could Be Self-Defense”

Geoff Nagle saw the attack from his apartment window.


Geoff Nagle lives on the 3rd floor of an apartment building on the corner of 16th and Chancellor streets, and he saw last Thursday’s brutal attack from his window, where he took this photo of one of the victims being treated. Nagle has been in communication with the Philadelphia Police Department, and he tells us that he doesn’t know the suspects or the victims. We got him on the phone to discuss the attack and the aftermath.

What were you doing last Thursday when all this went down?
I was laying on my couch. It’s a loud area, and there is a ton of talking, a lot of loud vehicles, like dump trucks. But this was a lot louder than that.

What got you off of your couch?
I heard girls screaming. So I got up and ran over to the window. At the time, I had no idea who was on what side or exactly what was going on. But I called 911.

What exactly did you see?
The one guy was getting very pummeled. There were some females in the middle of it. And one of the victims was in a headlock. At one point, a guy working in the FedEx shop right there started banging on the window, telling them to go away. I think he thought they were just drunk kids being loud. He probably thought nothing of it at the time.

Do you have a sense of what set this off?
It seemed to me that the two larger guys were fed up with what the other guys were saying, and one of the victims was pushing one of the women away, but just a little bit. And I could also hear some slurs like “fucking faggot” and I also heard someone say “I am sick of this fucking faggot.” If you saw the victims, they were small, not as large as the two guys. And then, it happened so quickly, one of the victims is lying unconscious, bleeding from the head. There wound up being a one- to two-foot puddle of blood where he was hit and knocked unconscious. He wasn’t moving. There was a blood stain on the ground until it rained two days later.

Was the whole group of 12 punching and kicking the victims?
Not that I saw when I got over to my window. There was really one guy that inflicted what I saw. The punches I saw from him were what knocked the one guy out. You see those kinds of punches in boxing matches a little bit, but you don’t see them in person. It really connected. The guy got knocked out cold.

How did the attack end?
It was a quick thing. Punches were exchanged. And I think that when they realized how serious it was, they went on their way. The women started covering their faces. He hit the concrete and didn’t pop back up. When the paramedics got there, it looked like he had two faces on one side of his face. It was serious. You could see all that just within a couple of minutes.

Was police response quick?
Cops were literally there within a minute. Paramedics were literally 30 seconds behind. I was very impressed by the cops.

It’s been reported that some of the suspects might be trying to invoke a self-defense argument.
I don’t see how it could be self-defense. There were 12 people there. The self-defense thing is a little crazy to me. It wasn’t like a guy just threw a punch to protect himself and ran away. That’s not what happened here. There were multiple punches to the one guy’s face — on both sides of his face.

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