Footage Shows Man Throwing Brick at NYC Gay Bar Window, Attack Spurs Hate Crime Investigation (UPDATE)

The moment caught on video is not the first such targeted incident to have taken place at the bar. Additional footage of the suspect has also been released.

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UPDATED 11/23, 10:20 p.m. ET: Police have arrested a man suspected of smashing windows of a New York City gay bar.

NBC News reports 34-year-old Sean Kuilan—who goes by the nickname “Paper Kid”—was taken into custody Tuesday for a series of attacks on VERS, an LGBTQ establishment located in Hell’s Kitchen. The NYPD said three out of four attacks were caught on camera: two allegedly showed Kuilan throwing bricks at the bar’s front window on Nov. 13 and 15, while the third allegedly captured him hurling a rock at the same window on Nov. 19.

Police said they were led to Kuilan through a CrimeStoppers tip as well as neighborhood residents who recognized the suspect from the security footage. The man was ultimately charged with reckless endangerment and criminal mischief. Kuilan was also wanted in connection to a 2021 menacing case.

Though police initially said they were investigating the incidents as possible hate crimes, they told the New York Post they no longer believe the crimes were motivated by any prejudice.

“Basically, what he says [is] he knows a girl who had a problem with one of the guys in the bar and he was ‘exacting revenge,’” NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said. “As of right now we don’t have any reason to believe it is [a hate crime].”

See original story below.

A gay bar in New York City has been repeatedly targeted with vandalism in recent days, with the latest attack spurring a hate crime investigation from local police.

This man has thrown bricks at the window of @versbarnyc FOUR times in recent weeks. These are hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community. Please help us identify him. If you have any information, please contact @NYPDHateCrimes at or 1-888-440-HATE.

— Erik Bottcher (@ebottcher) November 20, 2022

Speaking with WNBC, David DeParolesa—the owner of VERS in Hell’s Kitchen—noted that these attacks show a pattern.

“Last night and several other nights in the past week, a man has come by with a brick and smashed our window during service when people are here,” DeParolesa told the outlet, adding that a suspect was “finally caught on video” in connection with the most recent incident.

All told, a brick has been thrown into the front window of the establishment on at least four different occasions, starting with an incident on Oct. 20 and leading up to the most recent incident this weekend. In a separate interview on Sunday, DeParolesa told Gothamist that police had initially been “dismissive” and “nonchalant” in their response to these attacks.

Complex has reached out to VERS and the NYPD for comment. This story may be updated. In a tweet on Tuesday, the NYPD shared additional footage of the suspect and said that the individual was wanted in connection with a “criminal mischief hate crime pattern” investigation.

Coverage of the targeting of the NYC bar comes amid continued developments surrounding an attack at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs in which a suspect killed five people. The suspect, Anderson Lee Aldrich, is currently in custody and facing potential hate crime charges.

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