To my knowledge, on the night that Eddie Garzon was attacked, there were no eyewitnesses who could say, for sure, that any anti-gay slurs had been shouted or any concrete evidence that Eddie was targeted because he was a gay man (just rumors in the community that the men had shouted at each other in Spanish as they were jumping into the car). Nevertheless, within a couple of days the police had referred the case to the NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force for investigation as a possible bias attack [SIDE NOTE: I for one, have always believed that it was a hate crime due to the severity of the beating or the “overkill” factor - for lack of a better expression - but R. (the man who was with him that night as they walked home) later told me that he doubted this theory and his parents would later tell me that they were also uncomfortable with calling it a ‘hate crime’ until more concrete evidence surfaced.]
The mass at the chapel inside
For the parents, who had traveled from
Leaving the Elmhurst Hospital chapel after meeting Eddie Garzon’s parents, I walked up the street and looked up at the 2nd floor rooms, the ones holding patients in intensive care. Marlene had invited me to go up to see him but I wasn’t ready to see him yet. She had told me about just how swollen his face was and how he didn’t look at all like Eddie. Aparently he had also suffered some chest bruises from the beating. So I chose to stand outside in the dark looking up at that square of light emanating from the second window to the left, knowing that he was there, hooked up to the machines that were keeping him alive, praying for him to get better, even though I have never been a religious man.
In the meantime, things kept getting blurrier. Initially the theory was that the car that had stopped while Eddie was urinating near “Vaseline Alley” might have been the same car that he faced down one block down the street (they would just have to sped up around the block to get to the corner where the bank video showed the face-down between Eddie and the people in the car). But R. (the person who was with him at the time) said that he didn’t think it was the same car. The actual catalyst for the attack might have been not so much the fact that Eddie was gay but the fact that Eddie has stoped to stare-down some people inside a parked car.