PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten A gay American who was beaten with a tire iron on this Dutch Caribbean island returned to St. Maarten on to urge authorities to arrest the “well-known punks” who harmed him and a friend who suffered brain damage from the attack.
New York journalists Dick Jefferson, 51, and Ryan Smith, 25, were outside a bar with several friends on April 6 when three men attacked them. Jefferson, who said the attackers had yelled anti-gay slurs at his friends earlier that evening, has faulted local authorities for not speaking to witnesses the night of the crime or pursuing leads.
“The people who harmed us are well-known punks,” he said. “People in the community know who these guys are. They are not talking to the police. The entire island is watching something bad happening.”
St. Martin Chief Prosecutor Taco Stein said several people have provided information and his office was investigating the response time of police officers to the crime.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, April 21, 2006.