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Bystanders cheer as women attack, beat D.C. drag performer

Miles DeNiro, Manny & Olga's, hate crime, gay news, Washington Blade

Miles DeNiro (Screen capture)

A male drag performer was punched, kicked, and dragged by his hair on the floor at the Manny & Olga’s pizzeria on 14th Street, N.W., about 2 a.m. Sunday by two female attackers in an incident that was captured on video taken by a bystander who cheered the attackers.

An official with the D.C. police department’s Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit said police were investigating the incident and were reviewing the video, which had been posted on at least two websites, to determine the identity of the attackers. The incident was expected to be classified as a hate crime.

Miles DeNiro, 24, who had just performed under his drag name Heidi Glum at the nearby Black Cat nightclub, said he suffered cuts and bruises to his head and upper body and had clumps of hair pulled from his head in an encounter he described as horrifying and traumatic.

“I had ordered some food and was waiting and one girl approached me and she started touching my face, telling me I needed to blend my makeup,” DeNiro told the Washington Blade.

DeNiro, who said he identifies as a gay man, said he was dressed in drag after just having completed a performance at the Black Cat.

He said he asked the woman not to touch him and to “please back off” when another woman approached him and began calling him a “tranny” and “shouted insults at me saying I was a man and a faggot.” He said he shouted back as the name-calling escalated and one of the women slapped him in the face twice.

“Then I flipped out,” DeNiro said. “I spit in her face and her friend jumped in and they started dragging me around by my hair while punching me in the face repeatedly and kicking me,” he said. “They had me held down on the ground and they were pulling my hair out.”

The video shows the two women dragging and punching him before knocking him to the floor as bystanders shouted and cheered. An unidentified man who took the video can be heard repeatedly shouting and screaming the words “World Star,” which refers to a hip hop music website, on which the video was later posted.

The video shows DeNiro wiping blood from his forehead which he said came from at least two cuts on his head sustained when he was knocked to the floor.

Someone also posted the video on YouTube, but the popular video website took down the video a short time later and posted a message saying, “This video has been removed as a violation of YouTube’s policy on shocking and disgusting content.”

The video, which was also posted on the site liveleak.com, shows one of the Manny & Olga’s employees walking past where the women were punching DeNiro while carrying out several boxes of pizzas.

“There were five or six workers behind the counter or in the kitchen area and none of them did anything to stop it,” DeNiro said.

The assault ended, according to DeNiro, when two men walked into the restaurant from the sidewalk and pulled the two women away from him.

“I don’t know who they are but they appeared to have seen what was happening through the window and came in to help,” he said.

DeNiro said two friends who were with him drove him home. He said he chose not to call police at the time of the incident but reported the attack to police Monday afternoon at the Third Police District at 17th and V Street, N.W.

Sgt. Matt Mahl, supervisor of the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit, said police first learned about the incident a few hours earlier when Rick Rosendall, president of the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance, emailed a link to the video of the incident to the GLLU office. Rosendall told the Blade he received the video in an email sent by one of DeNiro’s friends, who also sent a link to the video to the Blade and other news media outlets.

Police spokesperson Gwendolyn Crump told the Blade a second police report was filed by a party other than DeNiro related to an incident at Manny & Olga’s, but she didn’t identify who the other party was.

A man who identified himself only as Jamie and said he was a manager at Manny & Olga’s, located at 1841 14th Street, N.W., said the owners of the carry out restaurant were cooperating with police. He said the owners agreed to a request by police to show investigators footage from Manny & Olga’s in-house video surveillance cameras taken at the time of the incident. He said police were scheduled to view the video at 9 p.m. Tuesday evening.

“It’s my understanding that someone here did call the police and the police came,” Jamie told the Blade.

But DeNiro said police did not come before he left the restaurant to go home sometime after 2 a.m. on June 23. He said police could have arrived for an unrelated incident at the restaurant on a night in which he said “a lot of rowdy people” were on the street outside and inside Manny & Olga’s.”

DeNiro said he regrets that when he arrived home and observed the extent of his injuries, including damage to his scalp where hair had been pulled from its roots, that he posted two messages on his Twitter account using a racial slur to describe one of the two women attackers who is black.

The LGBT news website Queerty, which posted a story about the assault against DeNiro, quoted DeNiro’s Twitter postings, which used the “N” word.

The Queerty story prompted at least 20 readers to post comments debating one another over whether DeNiro’s racial comment should overshadow the significance of the assault, which many readers said was motivated by anti-gay and anti-trans prejudice.

“I was angry. I was irritated,” DeNiro told the Blade. “I said some things that I of course regret. I can’t change the past but I can only move forward and learn from this to become a better person.”

hate crime, Manny & Olga's, gay news, Washington Blade

A video of the altercation involving drag performer Miles DeNiro early Sunday morning at Manny & Olga’s pizzeria on 14th Street, N.W., shows these two women assaulting DeNiro as one of them drags him by his hair across the floor. (Screen capture)

25
Jun
2013

Possible hate crime charge in assault on drag performer

Miles DeNiro, Manny & Olga's, hate crime, gay news, Washington Blade

Miles Denaro was dragged by the hair across the floor of a restaurant, punched and kicked by two women. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is considering hate crime charges. (Screen capture)

Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office told a D.C. Superior Court judge on Wednesday that the office is considering classifying as a hate crime an assault charge filed against the second of two women accused of attacking a gay male drag performer in June at a D.C. carry-out pizzeria.

The disclosure by prosecutors that they may upgrade the charge of simple assault against Raymone Harding, 28, to a bias-related offense that could result in a stiffer penalty came one week after they made a similar announcement for co-defendant Rachel Manna Sahle, 22.

The two women were arrested a week and a half after they were captured on video dragging Miles Denaro by the hair across the floor of the restaurant after knocking him down and punching and kicking him. Denaro reported that the women called him a “faggot” and “tranny” during the assault.

Denaro said he was dressed in women’s clothes at the time of the incident. He said he had just finished a drag performance at the nearby Black Cat nightclub.

The video, which was taken by one of the customers at the restaurant near 14th and U Street, N.W., went viral after the customer posted it on a website that caters to hip-hop music enthusiasts.

At the time of their first court appearance in early July, a judge released Harding and Sahle on their own recognizance on the condition that they stay away from Denaro.

During Wednesday’s court hearing, Judge Juliet McKenna scheduled a status hearing for Harding on Sept. 20 at 9:30 a.m., the same time and date the judge last week ordered Sahle to return court for a status hearing.

Court documents posted on the Superior Court’s online docket, which list Harding and Sahle as co-defendants, say Judge McKenna agreed to a request by prosecutors for a continuance in the case while they assess whether to file “enhancement papers” classifying the assault charge as a hate crime.

12
Sep
2013

Calendar: Dec. 20

Wynonna Judd, music, gay news, Washington Blade

Wynonna will be in the D.C. region Monday for a Christmas peformance at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club. (Photo by Kristin Barlowe)

Friday, Dec. 20

Gay District, a facilitated group discussion focused on building understanding of gay culture and personal identity for men ages 18 through 35, meets at the D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) tonight from 8:30-9:30 p.m. For details, visit thedccenter.org.

Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) hosts Bear Happy Hour tonight from 6-11 p.m. There is no cover charge and admission is limited to guests 21 and over. For more information, visit towndc.com.

Bachelor’s Mill (1104 8th St., S.E.) holds a happy hour from 5-7:30 p.m. tonight with all drinks half price. Music begins at 11 p.m. Enjoy pool, video games and cards. Admission is $5 after 9 p.m. Must be 21 and over. For more details, visit bachelorsmill.com.

Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.) hosts free vodka Friday tonight from 9 p.m.-3 a.m. Free rail vodka 11 p.m.-midnight. Two DJs on two floors. Cover is $10. Admission is limited to guests 21 and over. For more information, visit cobaltdc.com.

SMYAL (410 7th St., S.E.) provides free and confidential HIV testing drop-in hours today from 1-3 p.m. For more information, visit smyal.org.

A “holiday tango concert” with the Roberto Pomili Orchestra featuring Latin Grammy winner Raul Jaurena is tonight at 8:30 p.m. at Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club (7719 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda). Tickets are $35. Visit bethesdabluesjazz.com or call 240-330-4500 for tickets.

Saturday, Dec. 21

Some Souls Church, a variety show, presents “The Church Night Holiday Spectacular” tonight at Black Cat (1811 14th St., N.W.) at 9 p.m. There will be music by Jonny Grave, a burlesque performance by Pria Puss and children’s comedy by Sara Armour. There is a dance party with music by rock group The North Country at the end of the performance. Tickets are $10. For more information, visit blackcatdc.com.

Burgundy Crescent, a gay volunteer organization, volunteers today for the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation at the Falls Church PetSmart (6100 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church, Va.) at 11:45 a.m. Those volunteering will be paired with a dog on a leash to walk around and play with. Wear casual clothes. For more information, visit burgundycrescent.org.

Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) presents “Chord’s MTHR FCKN Pop Off,” a dance party countdown for top pop song of the year, at 10 p.m. tonight. The cover is $8 from 10-11 p.m. and $12 after 11 p.m. Drinks are $3 before 11 p.m. The drag show starts at 10:30 p.m. Admission is limited to guests 21 and over. For more details, visit towndc.com.

DC9 (1940 9th St., N.W.) hosts “Peach Pit: 90s Dance Party” tonight from 10:30 p.m.-3 a.m. Mixtape’s DJ Matt Bailer spins ‘90s music. Cover is $5. Admission is limited to guests 21 and over. For details, visit dcnine.com.

Sunday, Dec. 22

Adventuring, an LGBT outdoors club, hosts a “Winter Solstice Poetry Hike” this morning at 10 a.m. to Maryland’s Sugarloaf Mountain. Meet at the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Station (10300 Rockville Pike., Bethesda, Md.) at 10 a.m. The hike is about seven miles and 1700 elevation gain. At the top of the mountain there will be a lunch and sharing of favorite poems in honor of the passing of another year. Bring a bag lunch, water, sturdy shoes, cash and a favorite poem to share. For details, visit adventuring.org.

Perry’s (1811 Columbia Rd., N.W.) hosts its weekly “Sunday Drag Brunch” today from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The cost is $24.95 for an all-you-can-eat buffet. For more details, visit perrysadamsmorgan.com.

Adventuring, an LGBT outdoors club, hosts a holiday party at 6338 Beryl Rd., Alexandria, Va. today from 4-8 p.m. Adventuring will provide a holiday ham and all non-food items. Guests are asked to bring a beverage to share plus one of the following: an appetizer, salad, hot dish or dessert. There will be a $5 collection at the door to support the Team D.C. Scholarship Fund. For more information, visit adventuring.org.

Monday, Dec. 23

The D.C. Center (1318 U St., N.W.) hosts coffee drop-in hours this morning from 10 a.m.-noon for the senior LGBT community. Older LGBT adults can come and enjoy complimentary coffee and conversation with other community members. For more information, visit thedccenter.org.

Us Helping Us  (3636 Georgia Ave., N.W.) holds a support group for gay black men to discuss topics that affect them today, share perspectives and have meaningful conversations. For details, visit uhupil.org.

Nellie’s Sports Bar (900 U St., N.W.) hosts poker night tonight at 8 p.m. Win prizes. Free to play. For more information, visit nelliessportsbar.com.

Country legend Wynonna and The Big Noise bring their show “A Simpler Christmas” to Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club (7719 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda) tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets ($60-90) are available at bethesdabluesjazz.com or 240-330-4500.

Tuesday, Dec. 24

Burgundy Crescent, a gay volunteer organization, volunteers for the Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital holiday party (1100 Alabama Ave., S.E.) today from 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Volunteers will decorate, serve the buffet, carol and socialize with patients. Visitor orientation is at 9:30 a.m. and party starts at 10 a.m. There is a buffet lunch at noon. Wear something red and bring photo ID. For more information, visit burgundycrescent.org.

The Mansion on O Street (2020 O St., N.W.) holds a Christmas Eve dessert buffet and annual Christmas Eve sale tonight from 7-10 p.m. Bring your own shopping bags. Tickets are $30. Reservations are required. For details, visit omansion.com/xmasdesserts.

Bachelor’s Mill (1104 8th St., S.E.) offers all drinks half price tonight until 2 a.m. Enjoy pool, video games and cards. Admission is free. Must be 21 and over. For more details, visit bachelorsmill.com.

Wednesday, Dec. 25

Washington National Cathedral (3101 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.) holds Festival Holy Eucharist this morning at 11 a.m. There is a Christmas Day Service of Lessons and Carols today at 4 p.m. followed by an organ recital featuring organists Christopher Betts and Benjamin Straley at 5:15 p.m.

The Christ Church on Capitol Hill (620 G St., S.E.) has its Christmas Day breakfast and service this morning from 7:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m. For more information visit washingtonparish.org.

Thursday, Dec. 26

Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.) hosts its weekly “Ripped-Hot Body Contest” tonight from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Win up to $200 in prizes. $2 rail drinks from 9-11 p.m. Admission is 18 and up and is free.

Nellie’s Sports Bar (900 U St., N.W.) hosts its weekly “Beat the Clock Happy Hour” tonight from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Drink specials start at $2 and increase by a dollar each hour. For more information, visit nelliessportsbar.com.

19
Dec
2013

Calendar: events through Jan. 3

TODAY (Friday, Dec. 28) 

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts hosts “Meet Up With Art” this evening at 6 p.m. at the Best Café (200 N Blvd., Richmond). It’s a meet and greet to engage with newcomers to Richmond or the art scene. There are free tours, networking, cuisines from the café and half price drinks. For more information, visit vmfa.museum.

The Black Cat (1811 14th St., N.W.) hosts “Dr. Who Happy Hour” tonight at 7. There will be one episode of Dr. Who and drink specials. Admission is free. For details, visit blackcatdc.com.

Phase 1 (528 8th St. SE) has its weekly dance party with DJ Jay Von Teese tonight starting at 7:30. Cover is $10. For more information, visit phase1dc.com.

Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) hosts Bear Happy Hour tonight from 6-11 p.m. This event is for people 21 and older. There is no cover charge. For details, visit towndc.com.

The Bachelor’s Mill (1104 8th St., S.E.) is having its happy hour tonight starting at 5 p.m. All drinks are half off until 7:30 p.m. After 9 p.m., admission is $10. The dance floor opens at 11 p.m. with DJ Tim-Nice and DJ Cameron.  For details, visit thebachelorsmill.com.

Saturday, Dec. 29

The Black Cat (1811 14th St., N.W.) hosts, “Hellmouth Happy Hour” where attendees watch one episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” with drink specials. Cover is free and doors open at 7 p.m. For more information, visit blackcatdc.com.

Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) hosts DJ Corey Craig and singer Adam Joseph tonight at 10 p.m. Both coming out of the clubs of New York, Craig’s work includes ’09 NYC Pier Dance and Joseph’s anthem “Faggoty Attention” raised him to fame in the clubs in 2007. Cover is $8 before 11 and $12 after. There are $3 drinks before 11. For details, visit towndc.com.

Sunday, Dec. 30

For those who unfortunately have to work on New Year’s Eve, the Black Cat (1811 14th St., N.W.) hosts the “Pre-Amateur Hour Happy Hour” tonight at 8. Admission is free. For more information, visit blackcatdc.com.

Monday, Dec. 31

Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) holds its New Year’s Eve celebration tonight at 9 p.m. The Ladies of Town Drag Show begins at 10 p.m. and there is a main stage performance by the Dance Camp. Music is by DJ Escape. If attendees buy tickets in advance they will not have to wait in a long line. Tickets are $20 in advance and admission is $25 at the door. For more information, visit towndc.com.

Phase 1 (528 8th St. SE) hosts its “Solid Gold: Women’s New Year’s Eve Party” tonight at 7 p.m. Hats, noise makers and other accoutrements will be provided. There will be a balloon drop and everyone receives complimentary champagne split. Music will be by DJ Jay Von Tease. Admission is $10. For more information, visit phase1dc.com.

The Kennedy Center (2700 F St., NW) sends 2012 out with a bang with pianist and vocalist Freddy Cole and the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band for “A Jazz New Year’s Eve” tonight at 7 p.m. After the performance there will be festive dancing, a countdown and a ball drop in the grand foyer that will be included with the ticket. Tickets are $90. For more information, visit kennedy-center.org.

Tuesday, Jan. 1

Green Lantern (1335 Green Court, N.W.) hosts its Safer Sex Kit-packing program tonight from 7-10:30. The packing program is looking for more volunteers to help produce the kits because they say they are barely keeping up with demand. Admission is free and volunteers can just show up. For more information, visit thedccenter.org.

Wednesday, Jan. 2

Foundry Gallery (1314 18th St., NW) presents “Earth Flowing Plane” by Edward Bear Miller opening at the gallery today at noon. The exhibition includes new oil paintings influenced by the D.C. landscape including Rock Creek Park and the Potomac River. This exhibition is free. For more information, visit foundrygallery.org.

Bookmen D.C., an informal men’s gay-literature group, discusses “God and Monsters” by Christopher Bram tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Tenleytown Library (4450 Wisconsin Ave., NW). Everyone is welcome. For more information, visit bookmendc.blogspot.com.

Whitman-Walker Health (1701 14th St., NW) holds its HIV+ Newly Diagnosed Support Group tonight at 7. It is a confidential support group for anyone recently diagnosed with HIV and the group welcomes all genders and sexual orientations. For details, visit whitman-walker.org.

The Tom Davoren Social Bridge Club meets this evening at 7:30 p.m. at the Dignity Center (721 8th St., SE) for social bridge. A partner is not needed and everyone is welcome. For more information, visit lambdabridge.com.

Thursday, Jan. 3

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in conjunction with the Richmond Jazz Society hosts Jazz Café this evening at 6 p.m. at the Best Café (200 N Blvd., Richmond). The night will be filled with eclectic mix of jazz ensembles. Light food and drink will be available. Admission is free. For more information, visit vmfa.museum.

Whitman-Walker Health (1701 14th St., NW) holds its gay men over 50 support group this evening at 6:30 p.m. The group is for gay men entering a new phase of life. Registration is required to attend. For more information, visit whitman-walker.org.

Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W) is hosting its weekly Best Package Contest tonight at 9 p.m. There is a $3 cover and there are $2 vodka drinks. Participants in the contest can win $200 in cash prizes. The event is hosted by Lena Lett and music by DJ Chord, DJ Madscience, and DJ Sean Morris. For details, visit cobaltdc.com.

 

27
Dec
2012