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

Geoff Nagle saw the attack from his apartment window.

gay-bashing-hate-crime-philadelphia-self-defense

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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  • TeeHee HeeHee

    Somebody that I know that went to that high school in Warminster insisted that some of the guys he saw in that picture taken in La Viola often bullied their LGBT classmates back then in high school. I guess they never changed. I am not sure whether this guy was a part of that entourage.

    • Guest

      You should ask that person to email me victor@phillymag.com

    • customartist

      That behavior was not checked when it SHOULD HAVE been.
      Who failed to correct it?

      • Guest

        pretty much everyone in society, for the past… Ever – 2 years.

  • Willy Loman’s Pipe

    This wouldn’t be the first time I heard of Archbishop Wood kids or alum with chips on their shoulders.

    • TeeHee HeeHee

      I heard the same….

    • pete

      Wait, first it was the restaurant who was the devil, now we are moving to talk dirt about an entire school and their alumni?
      Feel for the victims, be pissed at those who were involved, leave the rest out of this.
      Every school in every town has people with bad thoughts and bad actions.

      • customartist

        Seems that the school was not very successful in teaching any of these kids about personal conduct, morality, violence,…and I could go on.

        • equality thinking

          Parents are responsible for teaching personal conduct, morality, violence. NOT a school district.

          • deenygirl

            The problem now falls on the group who committed this terrible act, whether they took part or stood by and watched. They seem like a group of spoiled rotten brats who have got away with this behavior so long they felt the were untouchable. It is now time they learn a lesson that may cost them the rest of their lives.

          • johnbuoy

            Except if the school teaches the “immorality” of homosexuals, thus endorsing/encouraging this type of behavior. I’m not sayint that is the case, just my thoughts- you can’t teach that sort of thing, then wash your hands when it brings forth fruit.

          • Moving Along With Style

            The parents are probably aligned to white trash types–they don’t read, they watch TV all the time, big sports fans, etc.

          • Dan

            I’m a sports fan, and I was never taught to hate gay people.

          • cccavicch

            These are Catholic school alumni — absolutely their school district was/is responsible for teaching personal conduct and morality.

        • Moving Along With Style

          I know–all those catechism lessons! All those Masses! All those sermons went in one ear and out the other.

    • Moving Along With Style

      Repressed Irish boys taught to hate sex and to fear the sex instinct within themselves.

      Uptight Irish boys full of repressed rage, anger and hostility.

  • Ron L

    Bullcrap story of self defense. If that were true and they felt threatened, why did it take them 5 days to come forward. They eventually came forward because their faces were plastered all over twitter and the internet.

    • customartist

      Yep

  • Bill

    The heterosexual lifestyle is so god damn immoral.

    • Sam_Handwich

      it’s high time we ban them from marrying!

  • squirrelbuddy

    white catholics from bucks County………………………………cowards, disgusting humans – all 12 of them…………….no way self-defense…..they ran away and now lawyered up. I hope all 12 are financially ruined and some of them need to go to jail. Have they never encountered gay people in Bucks Co?

    • MJ

      You have something against white Catholics overall ??

    • Name

      That statement you just wrote on here “squirrelbuddy” makes you just as guilty as the man who threw the punch. The problem with America, is when we “generalize” about a group of people. What you’ve done with this statement is “imply” that “ALL WHITE CATHOLICS” from Bucks County condone (a) Violence of any kind and (b) hatred against gays. Stop “adding” to the problem and be a part of the solution. I, reiterate: with this statement you are just as guilty as the man who threw the punches. Dont be ignorant, rise above generalizing/stereotyping….

      • Shut up nimrod. They’re all complicit and equally guilty.

        • pete

          Shut up nimrod…..

          Wow.

          • I was trying to be clean and all American!

          • pete

            Nimrod is generally a great word.

        • Moving Along With Style

          Yes, they are all guilty. Nobody tried to stop this attack. Not one of the girls, not one of the male thugs. They are all guilty.

      • Guest

        “Just as guilty”? Puhleeze, you naive jerk. Do his words make you bleed? shatter your dainty bones? Go back to Bucks.

      • les

        Shut up “name”. I guess being Muslim is the same thing as cutting someone’s head off too? Shut your dumb mouth.

      • Tessa Johnson

        It was the Vatican that told the flock that if Gay people aren’t evidence the devil walks the Earth today, then at minimum gays are evidence of sucking at the devil’s teet. How can Catholics shirk blame for how gay people are treated? They can’t?

        • MJ

          Uh….yeah, I’m sure those Philly dopes were all remembering the Vatican teaching them that mega-drama as they prowled the streets that night…

      • Mikal Anderson

        “That statement you just wrote … makes you just as guilty as the man who threw the punch.” Dude, seriously? You have just drawn an equivalency between making a statement and a bully beating someone unconscious. If you believe this you are one sick twisted f*ck who should be banned from the human race.

      • neusys

        good point!

      • Gigi

        “…just as guilty as the man who threw the punch”? Hardly.

      • Joe G

        First off, why not post with your real NAME, NAME? Did your balls disappear into the void that is your sad, self-serving moral compass?

        Squirrelbuddy is in no way, shape or form “just as guilty as the man who threw the punches”. Read your own statement back to yourself. If you equate his assesment that Catholics seek to do harm to the gay community, as they have, vociferously, aggressively, and historically, with physically assaulting another human being, then you’re either cerebrally challenged or justifying your faiths denigration and marginalization of gay people.

      • Dan Summers

        You are right it is a generalization.
        To bad that is exactly what is taught in their churches. The sterotyping and generalization about homosexuals is a well known thing with in the Catholic Church and what they teach. So we know what they are taught…these people just acted on it.

      • Gerry Fisher

        Show some compassion for the guys who are being pounded on legally, socially, and literally (LGBT folks), and the guy who has his jaw wired shut, and THEN we’ll discuss being more polite when referencing the entitled drunks. Your priorities are messed up.

      • Zell

        words > sticks stones and fists

    • Moving Along With Style

      White, black, not an issue of color. New Hope is in Bucks County. I hope all 12 are financially ruined as well. Destroyed, in fact.

      • MJ

        Just an issue of….Irish, right ?

    • jakki

      What does where they live have to do with it? Are you prejudice against people from bucks county?

      • Mikal Anderson

        john, believe you me, people from bucks county are the absolute worst. (Actually, I’m posting from Lake Oswego Oregon and haven’t a clue as to where or what “bucks county” is.)

        • Zell

          it’s a place where people don colonial attire and wack the stems out of flax in ninety degree weather for the educational benefit for bored school students without pay. that’s the most fun you can have. seriously.

          • Mikal Anderson

            Thanks for your reply Zell. I’ve learned a small bit about a great place.

    • Bill Mulligan

      No. Actually sodomy is disgusting to any normally formed person. The 12 may or may not be creeps in their own right, but you hardly know that. No one knows (who wasn’t present, even your witnesses only started paying attention after it became loud enough to attract attention) who said what to whom or threw the first punch. Yet you have prejudged the entire case and want to ruin 12 lives. Nice guy you are.

  • Richard

    If arrests are not made soon when do we start protesting in the streets?

    • customartist

      Those who are not held to full justice cannot escape

    • JW

      i say tonight, just my 2 cents

    • frank

      Making fun of what happen in Ferguson and or blacks (or eluding to it) is why the African American community as a whole rent gays using civil rights as a defense when the at times like your comment show the same disdain and hatred that caused the need for the civil right legislation in the first place. There will be no need for looting because this issue involved white people. They will more than likely receive due process without the need to be provoked

      • Richard

        Frank,
        I had no thought of Ferguson at all. I am serious, if there are no arrests we literally need to get out and protest

      • philman

        He never mentioned Ferguson, he never said anything racially-tinged, and he never said anything about looting. I’ve been thinking the same thing, that we need to get out and protest if arrests are not made. How did you twist his comment so weirdly?

      • Ian

        Congratulations to Citizen Race-Baiter, everyone.

  • customartist

    FEDERAL Hate Crime Charges MUST be brought against the entire group, possibly minus those who will testify for the victims

    • RLK2

      It looks like it is moving in that direction.

      “Philadelphia City Councilman Jim Kenney sent a letter today to Zane Memeger, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, asking for Memeger’s office to look into the case and bring charges under the federal hate crimes statute, which includes offenses motivated by bias toward the victim’s sexual orientation.

      “Because of the seriousness of these offenses, and the obvious discriminatory intent of the perpetrators, I respectfully ask that the Department of Justice partner with the Philadelphia District Attorney and Philadelphia Police Department to conduct an investigation and bring Federal charges against these individuals,” the letter says.

      A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office said the office was aware of the case.” Hopefully, the Feds will do something as I doubt the Philly AG will.

      • johnbuoy

        To be honest, I’m thinking they’ll get community service with the possible exception of the one guy identified as throwing the punches. He’ll probably get probation. Cynical? Hell, yes.

        • Moving Along With Style

          Yes it will come down to that. A slap on the bottom. Community service. Nothing much. Sad.

          • Johnny Panic

            Don’t downplay the value of community service. At least some of the people in this group probably deserve it (some of the more violent ones obviously deserve something a lot more serious). It might do them a world of good to have to work in a shelter for gay youth or elderly home with a large GLBT population, etc. They actually might learn and grow and maybe form some sympathy for other peoples positions in life. I don’t think even most of the people in this group are beyond redemption.

      • Moving Along With Style

        We can legalize same sex marriage but we can’t get this right.

        Sad. Charge them with a hate crime. Now.

  • Many more heads need to roll over this. This is becoming national news, some examples will be forthcoming over the next days & weeks.

  • Federal charges for all, that will look nice on their resumés!

    • pete

      If found guilty there is a good chance they will never need resumes going forward. Once they get a felony conviction it will be more like simple job applications.

  • T

    Th whole group is responsible. They should’ve come forward… I guess they were waiting to see if one of these guy would be reported dead or something. So sick.

    • Jonathan

      I believe that’s why they stole his bag. They would try to claim he was “robbed by some scary black guys” Seems the defense of many of these backwards religious douches.

  • Cate S

    Victims don’t run away, PERPs do. Also, did these thugs have any documented defensive wounds ? Doubt it…

  • Dennis H

    So he pushed the guys girlfriend?

    • deenygirl

      I thought I read somewhere that the girl(s) were kicking them. Could that be why he pushed her away. They are all responsible and need to be punished to the fullest extent!!

      • jlkj

        Exactly. These criminals and their vile lawyers are grasping at straws here. They know they’re done so they are trying to raise even a hint of doubt about the story of the victims.

    • truthsayer

      It would take an armored tank to push any of those large girls – no one man could even try to push one of those cows.

      and no self-respecting gay man would even touch one –
      only some guy desperate for sex would consider touching any of those women

  • Retta

    Nice Irish Catholics I suppose. Probably one or two who are closeted.

    • MJ

      LOL. There you go. Didn’t take long for gay Eirophobia to rearits head.

  • darth vader

    All 12 of those thugs should be arrested and publicly flogged!

  • jimtoday

    Why is a hate crime never actually prosecuted as a hate crime? Radically backwards people are destroying what’s left of our country!

  • Maryanne Keller

    they should do the same to those bastards – only not in the face – kick them in the balls till they die

  • RCM1029

    Not to call into question the credibility of this witness – okay, maybe calling it into question a little – but that photo is freaking dark and he’s three floors up. How much was this witness really able to see? Where’s Jerry Callo when we need him?

    • pete

      One heck of a trial lawyer, son.

      • RCM1029

        Glad somebody got the reference.

    • That street, even though it’s really an alley, isn’t as dark at night as that picture makes it seem and 3 floors up isn’t really all that high.

  • Albert Ross

    bastards.

  • Tessa Johnson

    Did the 12 take the victims wallet and phone? How could it be self defense?

    • HereinDC

      Excellent point! taking the phone and wallet is robbery.

  • pete

    Meanwhile, across the river:

    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/20140919_Hailing_community_help__Camden_police_arrest_two_in_rape_and_beating_of_homeless_woman.html

    raped by 2, beaten far worse, both ears nearly torn off— barely hanging on…..

    Not a word of outrage, not one comment anywhere. All crime against others is bad.

    This CC case has a group of spectators wanting to blame the Catholic Church, A. Wood HS, the alumni of A. Wood, along with complete ruination of the restaurant (“Let’s hope La Voila is shuttered by spring”) where the alleged attackers ate dinner.

    The poor lady in Camden………not a word.

    • Yeah, except there have been arrests in that case, none in this case. And of course those guys should spend a lot of time behind bars that assaulted this poor woman.

      • pete

        There will be arrests in this case when the police build it properly. Until then, absolutely not. The cops, working with the DA know what they are doing.

        • I have no doubt the CC attackers will be revising their resumés soon to reflect an address change! What’s it called? The greybar hotel & resort?

  • Jenny

    Its a hate crime. Plain and simple and the criminals need to pay. Get them off the streets

  • Hatfield

    Should repeat this over and over: If the attackers were a gang of black kids they’d be swat teams surrounding their homes. Instead, since they are from “good” backgrounds, they can have days to get their stories straight with their lawyers, and, probably, sympathetic cops. This is a joke; a sad, disgusting joke. Luckily, there’s the Feds and extremely expensive civil rights suits and of course civil suits to impoverish them. At least there’s that.

    • Rich

      “If the attackers were a gang of black kids they’d be swat teams surrounding their homes.”

      I highly doubt that. Much more likely that the kids will still be at large and police would have zero leads because people in their neighborhood wouldn’t want to be labeled a snitch.

  • buns

    a one to two foot puddle of blood? is he joking? so there was a puddle of blood up to someone’s knees? give me a break

    • Rob T

      Perhaps he meant the puddle’s width rather than depth.Though that is so obvious I can see how you would miss it.

    • Matthew 6:5

      Diameter DumbA55!

    • eric B

      wow, talk about dense.

  • Beth

    again- this guy didn’t see how it started. which was with a woman getting punched in the face. my boyfriend would have defended me as well, unfortunately what the issue is that they took it too far (beat him so hard he needed his jaw wired shut), ran away before the police came (they were drunk but that’s not an excuse. they were probably scared since they beat them so bad), and the uses of the gay slurs obviously. So yes they should be charged- hopefully the law does that, but I don’t believe it was actually a hate crime. i feel bad for both sides. ok now let everyone jump on me…

    • Hatfield

      Right: two guys are going to attack a female member of a large group of people, some pretty built. That makes total sense; and the gay slurs are what? And the theft is what again? I feel nothing but disgust and hatred for that wolf pack and I hope their lives are entangled in the legal system for years, that this will define them for the rest of their lives.

      • Beth

        he took a swing at one of the men in the group- at that point there were only 2 men and 5 woman IN THAT GROUP present. He missed and hit the man’s girlfriend (allegedly). I am not saying it makes sense. It is what it is. All messed up… And I don’t believe that they stole their bag – if they did, whoever grabbed it thought that it belonged to someone in their group. and i think you’ll get you wish, this is going to stick with them all (even the peopke in the group photo that’s getting circulated around that were not present for the fight). i just think we need to remember there’s two sides to every story- the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. either way i just hope the truth comes out and the video of the fight gets released soon so we can all see what really went down.

        • jlkj

          I see you are one of their friends that got in on the official story they had the time to fabricate over the past week

        • jlkj

          Your friends are done, Beth. Probably best to stop regurgitating their lies. Maybe your time is best served setting up a fund to pay for their criminal costs and the civil suit money they are going to have to pay their two victims.

        • truthsayer

          beth, you know absolutely nothing. you will have zero ability to influence the jury pool…everybody knows that gang of 15 for what they are –

        • Mikal Anderson

          Beth, impressive level of insider knowledge. Obviously, you have been in contact with one or more members of this group.

        • Jess Mee

          Says who? One of the perps trying to cover his ass?

        • jlkj

          where are you getting this info from beth? it’s been no where whatsoever in the news. You good pals with one of the lying sacks who attacked these gay guys?

    • jlkj

      how do you know a woman was punched in the face? are you one of their lying catholic friends?

      • MJ

        She could be a lying friend and NOT Catholic, you know.

    • Mikal Anderson

      ” they were probably scared since they beat them so bad” Gosh, good point, Beth. Being scared because you beat someone unconscious is a perfectly acceptable excuse.

    • rick

      I think that story will change now that the Feds are involved, and one of them will cut a deal. thats why some of them are not speaking right now to avoid the additional charges of lying and hampering an investigation.

    • D. Jacobson

      Proof innocence is not a concept that is allowed in the gay bashing world. If you stand accused you MUST be guilty, because why would a sweet innocent gay lie?

    • Guest

      Interesting story, Beth. I’m a little confused, though. If only one of the gay men punched the woman, why were they both attacked?

  • buns

    Beth you are right. It started because one of the victims hit a girl in the face. Any boyfriend would stick up for her. To call this a hate crime is ridiculous, they were not targeted because they were gay. This was not a gay witch hunt. Did they go over board with the beating? Yes. But it’s not a hate crime. Also, stop crucifying them for getting lawyers. Why wouldn’t they get lawyers?

    • jlkj

      I see you are one of the lying sack’s lying friends or relatives

      • buns

        No, I’m not actually.

        • jlkj

          yeah you are

        • D. Jacobson

          alexis has that attitude: AGREE WITH ME, OR DIE!!!!

          • MJ

            Why did Alexis choose such a queeney-faced pic, though ?

          • jlkj

            feminizing his name? you must be a relative of one of the future inmates.

          • D. Jacobson

            If you’re gonna be my cellmate, I could be okay with being imprisoned for making a bloody mess of my cell, mate.

    • Guest

      Proof or STFU.

    • D. Jacobson

      You are clearly the problem! You think that just because the gay started the fight that he lost, he shouldn’t be avenged. It’s gay bashing and it must ALWAYS be avenged. /sarc

    • Tony

      “It started because one of the victims hit a girl in the face.”

      What else did Saul recommend you say?

  • eagles512

    The punks need to be punished but it does sound like the victims left some details out.

  • OutandProud

    self defense: i must protect myself, b/c being gay is catchy and I like it so much myself! homophobes are almost always later GAY!! hence the fear!

  • john beaver

    Please release the names of everyone in that photo taken in the restaurant. They all need to account for their actions that night. Someone must know who they are. Start naming and shaming.

    • Sam_Handwich

      it really surprises me that at least some of their names haven’t come out via social media

    • rick

      should’nt be hard they graduated from same high school in 08. anyone have a yearbook?

  • buns

    john beaver, everyone in that photo did not have something to do with the fight.

  • rick

    Don’t forget we already know one is a homophobe because when he was found by fansince09 he said: If you’re going to gay bash don’t fill your FB profile with gay slurs and also delete that resturant check in from earlier .

  • john

    “The two larger guys were fed up with what the other two (victims) were saying.” “one of the victims was pushing one of the women away” You put your hands on my girl I break your jaw too!

    • Mikal Anderson

      Ah, where would we be without the neanderthal contingent?

    • Steve Neman

      Why don’t you learn to read, you illiterate. And this 6’2″ 245 pound gay guy would beat the hell out of you, loser.

      • john

        Why would he beat the hell out of me? I thought he was an innocent victim attacked for no reason other than his sexual preference?

        • Jane

          Ignorance isn’t innocence.

  • rickk

    Maybe this will inspire PA to add sexual orientation to its hate crime laws.

  • Gigi

    Self defense my a$$! Next they’ll say, “It happened so fast. The two little fa9s just ran into my fists over and over again.”

  • mikey5432

    you can not fix stupid- but you can teach them to hate, that starts at home and at church

  • Hope

    As I sit here and read all of these comments , or should I say arguments I am in shock! There is a much bigger picture here than meets the eye. With so much disparity, and hatred in our world today this just adds to the fact that people really are unable to discuss an issue, and more likely any issue without name calling , bullying, and profanity. What makes you any different from the situation that we are commenting on? “Imagine all the people living life in peace, I hope that someday you will join us and we could live as one” John Lennon

    • Surfing Skyscraper

      Finally, a coherent comment.

      If you ask me, he mau mea he poe kanaka he pupule! Kahi o ka
      mea e ae, malama kekahi I kekahi. Ua ola loko I ke aloha.

      (There are some crazy people out there! Instead, take care of each other. Love gives life within.)

  • Jane

    The women who called into Dom Giordano’s 1210 talk Radio how to defend these adults s good kids who played sports together at Wood, went on to college, have school loans and just starting their careers and then went down the “Two gay men started it” path did little for me to think these Adults were already being well protected. To say I am troubled that no other names have been released makes me think justice may not be served.

    We should tell our kids the consequences of hanging out with trouble makers, and how mob mentality rules many people. These kids are probably not ALL bad kids, but we all know it’s the bad kids who know how to stay away from blame that falls on the other kids

  • Tony

    I see the criminals and their lawyers are getting a bit desperate and floating a few ideas around now… I have to admit, saying the victim punched a woman in the face is a smart tactic to sway public opinion. “If anyone touched MY woman, I’d fight back too!”

    It’s a good thing that this woman who got punched called the cops to press charges for assault. She must have a black eye and its an open shut case with 14 people to back up her story. Surely one of her 14 friends who witnessed her getting punched in the face would have snapped a photo of the damage. Or maybe we can keep waiting for this “extra footage” the lawyers keep talking about, just pay no attention to the man pulling levers behind the smoke and mirrors.

  • something similar happens here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_gdely8KUU

  • DocReality

    These kids should all be sitting in jail for about 10-15 years to think about behaving like a-holes.

  • Sullivan

    When institutions like the Catholic Church teach homophobia, can you be surprised if their members do something like this?

  • midddletownwatch

    as usual, a bunch of lying crackers…the worst kind, Christians…child molesting lying Christian crackers…typical

  • dotag69

    Christians, one and all.