Anti-Asian Hate Crime and Beating in Queens, New York

"The more I got hurt, the more I got angry," Reynold Liang said at a news conference Monday. "At the same time, I was so defenseless."

When it rains, it pours. So after the late-night shenanigans with the thugs from last night's afterhour party, what's the first thing I see when I turn on the TV?

A report on ABC News of four Asian American men in Queens who were assaulted for being non-white (not that I'm implying last night was due to race, it was all about sex, drugs, and thugs).

Can't we just all get along?

(Queens - AP, August 17, 2006) - An Asian man injured in what authorities are calling a hate crime said he was more infuriated than scared by the attack despite the numerous times he was hit.

"The more I got hurt, the more I got angry," Reynold Liang said at a news conference Monday. "At the same time, I was so defenseless."

Liang, 19, was driving with three Asian friends in the Douglaston section of Queens early Saturday when they were rammed by a car carrying two white men shouting racial slurs and cursing, police and prosecutors said.

Liang said he drove away but was attacked by the men when he pulled over to check his car for damage.

In the fight that followed, Liang said, he was hit 30 to 40 times and bashed with a heavy steering wheel lock he had grabbed in self-defense. "I was getting stomped on and hit on the head," said Liang, who had puffy black eyes and other bruises.

The two whites, Kevin Brown, 19, of Flushing, and Paul Heavey, 20, of Little Neck, have been charged with assault as a hate crime in the attack on the four Chinese Americans.

Brown and Heavey were arraigned Sunday. They also face charges of reckless endangerment and criminal mischief as hate crimes. Brown also is charged with resisting arrest.

Brown's lawyer, Brian Kennedy, described the altercation as a traffic incident that escalated into a fist fight. He said one of the Asians went back to his car, retrieved a club and started to bash Heavey with it. "Brown jumped in to save his friend, who was being beaten," Kennedy said.

Heavey was being represented by the Legal Aid Society, which didn't immediately return a telephone message seeking comment Monday. The news conference was held in the office of City Councilman John Liu, a Queens Democrat and the first Asian Pacific American to be elected in the city. Liu denounced the attack.

Accompanying Liang at the conference were friends John Lu, who had a bandage over his right eye, and David Wu. The lifetime residents of New York said they were upset by the attack and had never seen anything like it before.

When asked if the assault changed how they felt about their borough, Liang said, "Definitely not. I love Queens."

The ethnically diverse borough, however, is the site of two of the city's most infamous bias attacks.

Last summer, a young black man was beaten about the head by a white teenager with a baseball bat in the Howard Beach section.

That attack was a reminder of another notorious incident in the same neighborhood that inflamed racial tensions in the city about 20 earlier. In the earlier case, a black man whose car had broken down was fatally struck by another car while trying to escape a group of white attackers.

-(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Signed, Asian Playboy

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