Nassau Cops Probing Smith-Malave Attack as Hate Crime
Detectives are probing an attack of a former Top Chef contestant as a hate crime because her assailants used anti-gay epithets, said a spokesman for the Nassau County Police Department.
Josie Smith-Malave, a former contestant on Bravo's TV reality show and a player on the New York Sharks woman's football team, and three friends were attacked by an angry mob who yelled slurs at the women after being tossed out of Partners bar in Sea Cliff, said NCPD spokesman Lt. Kevin Smith.
"We are looking in to the incident as a possible bias and hate crime because of the nature of the verbal altercation," said Smith who would not repeat the language the attackers used but said the epithets were about gender and sexual orientation.
Lt. Smith said the dispute started inside the bar when a group of patrons, who have not yet been identified, accused someone in Smith-Malave's party of videotaping them.
"They made a stink to the bartender...(and management) ended up ejecting both groups," said Lt. Smith. "Outside the bar, this mixed group of men and woman started to curse and make biased and inappropriate remarks."
Outside, after words were exchanged, pushing and shoving started led to a full-out brawl, police said. During the fracas someone forcibly took a camera from Smith-Malave's purse, Smith said.
Police have recovered Smith-Malave's camera but did apprehended any suspects, Smith said. The suspect could face charges ranging from robbery to aggravated harassment to assault. They were also face stiffer penalties and longer jail sentences if they are convicted of those charges as hate crimes.