Saturday, October 14, 2006

"Michael J. Sandy almost escaped his death..."

That's the lead sentence in a story that appears on the front page of the New York Times Metro Section tomorrow ("From Crime to Arrest, By Way of Computer," October 15, 2006).

The article takes a look at how NYPD detectives were able to trace back what happened a week ago tonight when Mr. Sandy was lured into a trap by someone he thought was offering to have a sexual encounter when it actually turned out to be four heterosexual white youth who had previously decided to try to rob a gay man using a single profile to lure him.

The Times tells what happened next:

When Mr. Sandy pulled up to a Sheepshead Bay street corner last Sunday, he found not the lone man he thought he had been exchanging instant messages with, but two men. Uncomfortable, he drove away.

Back home, Mr. Sandy resumed his online chat with the man calling himself “fireyefox,” who persuaded him to go through with the rendezvous.

Later that night, Mr. Sandy was led to a trash-strewn parking lot near the Belt Parkway, and confronted by four men who, the authorities say, were hoping to rob him. He was beaten and chased onto the highway, where he was hit by a car. On Friday, a day after Mr. Sandy turned 29, his family removed him from a respirator.

Detectives were able to determine these things from something that Mr. Sandy did not do before he went out a second time that night: He did not turn off his computer and left his Adam4Adam profile on (the Times also runs a photo of Mr. Sandy's Friendster profile).

What follows is an incredibly sad and vivid account of the confrontation near the Belt Parkway and disturbing emerging profiles of the four assailants.

"It wasn't a hate crime against blacks or gays," says a young woman who knew the assailants but did not give her name to the Times. Then she ads "They were looking to rob him. They didn't think he'd fight back if he was gay."

As for Mr. Sandy's passing on Friday afternoon, McCartha L. Lewis, his aunt, tells the Times "He was already gone, he's resting in the arms of Jesus right now."

Ms. Lewis is also known as the soca music performer Calypso Rose.

REMEMBER: A rally in memory of Michael Sandy is scheduled for Monday afternoon at 5pm on the steps of the New York City Council building. It's being organized by People of Color in Crisis, the New York State Black Gay Network, the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project and the National Black Justice Coalition and has been endorsed by Brooklyn Pride.

5:00 pm
City Hall, Manhattan
2/3 to Park Place
4/5/6/J/M/Z to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall
A/C to Broadway-Nassau
R/W to City Hall

According to Michael's MySpace profile, a memorial is also being planned. For updates please write to:

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