Update: After much thought, I have decided to remove the video because of how it might impact the victim. A description of the video has been added.
A suspect was arrested Tuesday afternoon for allegedly severely beating a gay man in Hudson the evening before.
The suspect, who has not yet been identified by police, was found “cowering” behind a beer distributor on Green Street in a wooded area by the train tracks, according to Hudson Police Chief Ed Moore. The area is a gathering spot for those living on the streets.
The man was assaulted in front of Bliss Towers near North 2nd and Columbia Streets after an argument turned physical, according to police, after which the assailant fled.
The Other Hudson Valley does not generally identify crime victims.
The man was badly injured and was taken to Columbia Memorial Hospital in Hudson by ambulance, then transported to Albany Medical Center.
Albany Medical Center generally receives transports from Hudson when the injuries are severe, though police said the man does not appear to be at risk of dying.
It was not yet known whether the man’s sexual orientation had anything to do with the assault, according to Moore.
“We interviewed the victim, but he’s in tough shape — we have to respect him healing,” Moore said. “We got some details, we’ll re-interview him as he recovers. I can’t say whether this is a hate crime right now, or a bias-related incident — I’m not willing to say either way right now, but we’re investigating.”
A bystander was able to get footage of the incident, which was turned over to the HPD, according to police.
The Hudson Police Department was able to identify the alleged assailant in the video, according to police.
The Other Hudson Valley acquired video of the assault, but it is not known if this is the same video being used by police in their investigation.
The video captures what appears to be the entire assault, but only small parts of the argument leading to it.
In the video, which appears to be shot on a cell phone from a stopped car, a shirtless man is heard saying something about “violence” while approaching a man with a beard, who points at the shirtless man and warns him he will defend himself if touched.
The video cuts out, then the shirtless man is seen circling the bearded man, who again says he is willing to fight if the shirtless man attacks him.
“I am telling you right now, I am not the one,” the bearded man is heard saying.
The shirtless man appears to swing first, but the bearded man’s punch is nearly simultaneous, according to the video.
Both men take fighting stances and the bearded man swings once before falling. The shirtless man then gets on top of him, forces the man’s head back against the pavement, and punches him in the face a dozen times, according to the video.
“He’s knocked out! Someone do something! Do something!” A voice is heard saying in the middle of the barrage.
OutHudson, the group that organizes Hudson’s annual Gay Pride Parade, released a statement on the assault.
“A member of Hudson’s LGBTQ community was attacked and severely injured yesterday. This type of violence against our community will not be tolerated. We all should be able to live in Hudson without fear of verbal harassment and physical violence. We must combat all forms of discrimination in Hudson.
“OutHudson is working with the victim’s family to ensure proper local and state police reporting. We are also working with the NYS Department of Intergovernmental Affairs. The issue has been escalated and will be dealt with appropriately.
“To report an incident, please call the NYS Hate Crimes Hotline 1-888-392-3644 or Text “HATE” to 81336.”
Fourth Ward Alderman Rich Volo, a member of OutHudson, said he personally knew the victim.
“We’re in contact with the victim and their family,” he said, but did not provide further details.
Police arrested the suspect just before 6 p.m. and are in the process of interviewing him, Moore said.