A 34-year-old man was arrested Tuesday for allegedly throwing bricks and a rock at the window of a gay nightclub in Hell’s Kitchen three times last week, the NYPD said.
Sean Kuilan was arrested Tuesday afternoon and charged with criminal possession of a weapon, criminal mischief and reckless endangerment.
Kuilan, who police said lived around the corner from the bar, allegedly threw bricks at the front window of VERS on Ninth Avenue on Nov. 13 and 15. On Nov. 19 — hours before a gunman opened fire at an LGBTQ club in Colorado, killing five and injuring 25 — police said he returned and threw a rock at the window again.
Patrons were inside the bar each time, though no injuries were reported, officials said.
Bar owner David DeParolesa said in a statement Sunday he installed shatterproof glass in anticipation of attacks like this.
“An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us, and we want to do everything in our power — right now — to keep other bars and queer spaces in the neighborhood safe,” DeParolesa wrote in the statement.
Kuilan was not charged with a hate crime as of Tuesday evening.
“While we await details on the attacker’s motive, it’s clear that these attacks were intended to strike fear into the bar’s patrons and our entire community,” Manhattan Councilmember Eric Bottcher, who represents the neighborhood the bar is in, wrote in a statement Tuesday. “There must be zero tolerance for the targeting of marginalized and vulnerable communities.”
The rise in violence and hate rhetoric against our LGBTQ+ neighbors is unacceptable, and we share the pain felt by the community. Rest assured that our law enforcement partners will fully investigate, apprehend, and bring to justice those responsible for any attack on our city. https://t.co/Cl3VXW8KcT— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) November 22, 2022