Sunday, October 18, 2009
Hundreds of people marched through the College Point section of Queens on Oct. 17 to denounce what police have described as an anti-gay hate crime that nearly claimed a local resident’s life.
Daniel Aleman, 26, and Daniel Rodriguez,Jr., 21, allegedly beat Jack Price, 49, outside an all-night deli on the corner of College Point Avenue and 18th Avenue around 3 a.m. on Oct. 9. Price’s sister-in-law, Joanne Guarneri, marched arm-and-arm with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Congressman Anthony Weiner, City Comptroller William Thompson, Jr., Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and other politicians, activists and local residents down College Point Avenue. She also spoke at a rally at a local park.
"They [Aleman and Rodriguez] nearly beat my brother-in-law to death for $10 and a pack of cigarettes," Guarneri said. "We have to stop violence in College Point. We have to take back our streets."
Amanda Guarneri echoed her mother’s anger before she and other members of her family marched.
"They [Aleman and Rodriguez] are a disgrace," the 15-year-old told EDGE. "They should be locked up forever. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy."
Quinn, members of Price’s family and others who spoke at the rally were quick to praise the New York Police Department and local residents for the way they feel they have responded. Openly gay City Council candidate Danny Dromm, who co-organized both the march and rally, told fellow marchers he wanted to send a powerful message against anti-LGBT hate and bias crimes.
"We’re here to say enough is enough," Dromm said.
Price, who suffered a broken jaw, bruised ribs, a collapsed lung and other injuries, remains hospitalized in a Queens hospital. He told the Daily News he thought he would not survive.
"I thought I died," Price said.