City Gay Bashing on Broadway: Young Man Attacked and Dragged From Car Over Labor Day Weekend
posted by September 6 at 10:10 AMon
[Originally posted yesterday evening.]
Andrew Geske, 26, was walking home from the Capitol Hill gay bar Pony early Monday morning when, according to a police report and Geske’s own recounting of events for The Stranger, he was attacked by a young man driving a black BMW and then dragged down Broadway as the car sped away and a passenger held onto Geske’s arms.
Geske, a barback at a nearby bar and a personal trainer, suffered sprained fingers and scrapes on his back, elbows, and knee, but is otherwise unharmed. “It was a gay bashing,” Geske told The Stranger. “Word needs to get out that gays are still being targeted. Call me naive, but I didn’t think this could happen here.”
He sent these pictures this afternoon:
According to the Seattle Police report, the attack is being investigated as a bias crime. It began around 2:30 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 3, along the stretch of Broadway that runs between Seattle Central Community College and the Bonney-Watson Funeral home. The Black BMW pulled up alongside Geske and his roommate as they were walking home from Pony holding hands. Geske told me he assumed, since the car was pulling up to him, that one of his friends was driving, and he went over to say hi.
“I had just started walking up to the car when the driver got out of the car, yelling, ‘Get the fuck away from my car, faggots,’” he told me. “Then he slammed a punch into my face.”
Geske is a tall man—6’ 2”, 180 pounds—but he says his attacker was taller than him, and proceeded to hit him several more times in the face. “I fell against the car,” Geske told me. “My arm ended up inside of their window, which was down… The passenger grabbed onto my arm, and they just peeled out driving real fast. I just remember staring at my roommate on the sidewalk, trying to figure out what was going on. It happened in like five seconds, all of this.”
Geske had been drinking, he said, but “all of a sudden I was completely sober, realizing I was driving along the ground.”
He was dragged, he said, for several blocks, past the Jack in the Box at the intersection of Broadway and Denny, past Dick’s Drive-In. He finally pulled himself free at the intersection of Broadway and John. “I freed myself loose and kind of rolled away onto the ground,” Geske told me. “They were gone real quick.”
A witness told police that she heard the people in the car calling Geske and his roommate “faggots” and “homos.”
No one was able to get the car’s license plate.
Geske has lived in Seattle for nine years, and said nothing like this had ever happened to him before—although sometimes, when he and a boyfriend used to walk across the Denny overpass to the club El Corazon, drivers would yell out the window and call them faggots. “We just said, ‘Oh, must be the edge of Capitol Hill,’” he told me.
On Monday, at a Labor Day BBQ he’d already planned, gay friends kept coming up to Geske and telling him about their recent experiences being gay bashed, he said. One of them recounted an experience that happened recently on Capitol Hill.
Police spokesman Mark Jamieson says he isn’t aware of any data showing an increase in gay bashings on Capitol Hill lately, but some anecdotal evidence suggests that as the neighborhood changes—more straight clubs, more people who commute to the Hill at night to party—the climate for gays is changing. Geske, too, had heard the grumblings about the changing neighborhood well before he was attacked.
“I guess I do feel like it’s less of a home for gay people,” he told me. “And you want to think that’s OK, because even the people who aren’t gay might be OK with gay people. But apparently some of them want to drag you down the street.”