Man Wanted for Assault Outside Gay NYC Council Member’s Apartment
Author: Andrew Sciallo
Less than a week after two people were arrested for trespassing at the apartment building of gay New York City Council member Erik Bottcher, police have now identified a third suspect who is wanted for assault.
Bottcher represents the city’s District 3, including Greenwich Village, Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, Hudson Square, Flatiron, Times Square, the Theater District, and the Garment District.
When The Advocate spoke to City Council Member Bottcher last Monday, he said that two people were arrested for entering his apartment building unlawfully and that a third suspect was being investigated for assaulting a nearby neighbor of Bottcher.
The neighbor was on his way home to his building down the block when he encountered the multiple hate groups stationed outside Bottcher’s building in Chelsea, Bottcher said.
Now, police have identified David Nieves as the accused assailant. Authorities allege Nieves struck his victim in the face, cutting the victim. He then pushed the victim into a car that was parked near Bottcher’s apartment building.
“At approximately 1700 hours, the listed person struck a victim in the face with an open hand, causing a small laceration to the victim’s face before shoving the victim into a nearby parked car in front of West 24 street following a verbal dispute,” a wanted flyer sent to The Advocate and verified by the NYPD stated. “The victim had physical injuries to their face, hand, and knee.”
Erik Bottcher told The Advocate Saturday that he believes the suspect belongs to the anti-LGBTQ+ group, Guardians of the Divinity.
“I saw this specific assailant first at the Drag Queen Story hour protest in Chelsea on 12/17, and then when these groups were banging on the door to our office, he posted a live stream on Instagram from outside our door, so I knew he was there,” Bottcher said.
Bottcher explained to The Advocate that his neighbor identified Nieves as the suspect and also used security footage from the area.
“I had one of the neighbors approach me on the street the next day,” Bottcher said. “She informed me that she had taken a video of the assault outside my building. When I posted that video on my Instagram, the victim of the attack then reached out to me, informing me that he was the victim in the video.”
On Monday, Bottcher’s office was defaced with anti-LGBTQ+ graffiti.
Bottcher told The Advocate then that the vandalism at his office and the situation with the protesters storming his building stemmed from a drag queen story hour at a local library over the weekend.
“I attended a drag queen story hour in Chelsea and saw the protest activity outside with signs with vile, hateful anti-LGBTQ language. It got a lot of attention because people were really shocked to see this in Chelsea of all places. I made a statement where I called them the faces of hate, and apparently they didn’t like that. They got my number and have been calling my personal phone,” Bottcher said.
He said some came to his office Monday afternoon, pounded on the office’s door, and then drew graffiti on the walls in front of it.
“Two of them told me through the door, while they were banging on our office door, that they were a part of Gays Against Groomers,” Bottcher said. “ I believe this group in particular is operating out of NYC.”
He’d gone to Synagogue Monday night, he said. When he walked out, he saw he had a ton of missed calls, and then he learned about the vandalism.
“They entered my building and gained entry, and my super called the police, and two of them were arrested for trespassing. They chalked up the sidewalk in front of the building, saying I was a child predator and groomer,” Bottcher said.
Anyone with information regarding Nieves should notify authorities at 212-741-8245 or at 212-477-7447.
“I want to thank the NYPD’s 10th precinct for its swift response to the criminal trespassing and assault that took place on our block on Monday,” Bottcher shared on Saturday. “A message must be sent to hate groups everywhere that this behavior will not be tolerated.”
Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Andrew Sciallo