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Connecticut Gay Bar Owners Demand Assault Incident Be Treated as 'Hate Crime'

by Emell Adolphus

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday October 19, 2022

 Casey Fitzpatrick and Nicholas Ruiz
Casey Fitzpatrick and Nicholas Ruiz   

After the two owners of a gay bar in Connecticut were brutally assaulted by one of their patrons, they are now calling for the incident to be treated as a hate crime. However, investigating police say there is no evidence to suggest that the incident is more than an isolated incident.

As reported by NBC Connecticut, Casey Fitzpatrick and his husband Nicholas Ruiz are the owners of a gay bar in Norwalk, Connecticut, called Troupe429.

Norwalk Police arrested Carmen Parisi on Wednesday for the alleged attack on Fitzpatrick and Ruiz, and during a court appearance prosecutors shared that the Sept. 23 incident involved Parisi assaulting the owners and hurling anti-gay slurs at them. In the eyes of the prosecutors, the anti-gay slurs qualifies the incident as more than assault.

"We believe that once all of this comes to light it will be evident that this was a hate crime," said attorney Stephanie Stich, who explained that one of the owners was hit in the face, while the other was punched in the throat. Ruiz reportedly needed over 50 stitches for his recovery and is facing a $20K plastic surgery bill.

About the attack, Parisi's attorney told a difference story. He explained that his client was escorted out of the bar when he attacked.

"He says that while outside with the bar owner, he was rushed by staff at the bar, and they began choking him and then he was let go and he got away and he was chased," said defense attorney David Marantz.

The handling of the whole incident has reportedly been stalled by miscommunication according to investigating police.In a statement, Norwalk Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik said they just want to do the "right thing for everybody."

"That's the message we are trying to get out," he said. "Did we make some mistakes communicating? Possibly, but our ultimate goal hasn't changed. We want to do a thorough investigation."