Marla R. Stevens

No more wire wicks, ever!!!

Filed By Marla R. Stevens | February 02, 2006 11:09 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics, The Movement

The next whiny ChristoNazi who fusses about how oppressed they are better hope I'm not packing a hatchet, a machete, and a pistol and heading into their church/culture war HQ asking if it's an AmTaliban hangout as I'm downing a cup of coffee hour courage...

I'm so sick of candlelit vigils, I could scream!

-- Marla

Police investigate attack at New Bedford gay bar [with additional info from Phil, the bartender]
By Ray Henry, Associated Press Writer | February 2, 2006

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. --Police were searching for an 18-year-old New Bedford man who allegedly attacked patrons of a gay bar early Thursday with a handgun and a hatchet, wounding at least three people in an apparent hate crime.

The man walked into Puzzles Lounge in the city's North End around midnight, armed with a handgun and "some sort of cutting instrument," according to New Bedford Police Capt. Richard Spirlet. [NOTE: According to Phillip, the bartender who, before starting work there, had been a patron himself for about 5 years, there were two cutting instruments -- the one he used against several patrons was a hatchet and another, a machete, was found where he'd dropped it during a struggle before firing a gun first execution style into his first hatchet victim then at others who were down from injuries, then at another patron exiting the bathroom, then indiscriminately into groups of patrons nearby as the bartender helped ones at the other end of the bar exit out a door to that side.]

The suspect was identified as Jacob D. Robida, 18, of New Bedford. Spirlet said the incident was being treated as a hate crime.

The bartender, who asked to be identified only by his first name, Phillip, because of concerns about his safety while the attacker was being sought, told The Associated Press that the man ordered a drink and asked if Puzzles was a gay bar. [NOTE: Phillip said his eyes were cold -- that he seemed at once emotionless and menacing. Phillip carded him, saying that, as it was Robida's first time in the bar and that Phil didn't know him, he had to ask for ID, and Robida produced one that showed he was born in 1982, which would have made him 23 years old. Phil said he was suspicious that Robida was younger than that but, lacking proof and concerned that he was odd, thought it best to serve him. Phil didn't know if he was asking about the type of bar because he was a potential basher or because he wanted to make sure he was in the right place. It's a smaller area bar with a mixed sex clientele who are often very close friends and thus physically warm with each other, so that wouldn't have been an unusual question. He thought, though, due to the dead coldness in the man's gaze, that it was more likely that he was in there for trouble and thus worth keeping a close eye on.]

He was told it was, then finished his drink and ordered another, Phillip said. He walked to the back of the bar where two men were playing pool.

He shoved one of the men to the ground [NOTE: from the rear after the guy turned his back on him to play the game], according to Phillip, then pulled a hatchet from his hooded sweatshirt and began swinging it at the man's head, cutting him [NOTE: badly, as the man went down]. The second pool player intervened, swinging at the assailant with his pool cue, but the man fended him off, the bartender said. [NOTE: Phil said that the attacker took the pool cue from the man trying to use it to save his game partner and began using it to beat the partner, then others who came to their aid, including Phil himself, who is still feeling the effects of one particularly intense blow to the lower part of his body.]

Several other patrons tried to stop him, and at some point the man was tackled to the ground and the hatchet flew across the floor, Phillip said. He then pulled out a handgun and shot the two pool players, according to the bartender. He fired a bullet at a patron who was leaving the bathroom, hitting him in the chest.

"He was shooting at everyone," Phillip said.

Some patrons left through the front door while the altercation was taking place at the rear of the bar.

The attacker then shoved the bartender before leaving the building and running up the street, Phillip said. Moments later, the police arrived.

Robida was described as a short, stocky white man with dark hair. He was last seen driving a green 1999 Pontiac Grand Am and is considered armed and dangerous, according to Spirlet.

Phillip said the attacker was wearing all black [NOTE: pants, possibly jeans, with patches and had a hooded black sweatshirt that he had pulled up over his face gangster style when he sat at the bar] and that he left behind the hatchet, as well as a machete that he did not see used.

Two of the injured people were taken to Boston hospitals, and a third was taken to St. Luke's Hospital in New Bedford, said Spirlet. [NOTE: Phil heard the police radio report that, as one first attacked was being lifted into the helicopter the airport on his way to Boston General, he was reported to have had no pulse. He had been shot in the face as he lay on the ground unable to move from his head wounds from the hatchet.]

The victims' names and conditions were unknown.

Puzzles is popular with the local gay community and is listed on several Web sites offering resources to gays and lesbians.

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Margeaux May | February 2, 2006 12:38 PM

What can we do but weep when expressions of hate, such as this, occur? I was attending a panel discussion on gender identity non-discrimation policy last night at Purdue when each of us was asked if we felt safe. I mentioned that Indianapolis' HRO passed by only one vote and only 13 days have passed until the first attempt to overturn it. Do I feel safe and protected--not completely. From the Transgender Day of Remembrance in which we remember all our trans brothers and sisters who have been slain, we all learn a painful truth. There is no safe way to be transgender in this country, as there is no safe way to be gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Unfortunately, violence is no stranger to any particular letter in our community. Let us be further bonded in our suffering and further united and emboldened in our resolve to end this maddness and hold our elected officials accountable.

Marla Randolph Stevens | February 3, 2006 1:55 AM

UPDATE: According to New Bedford Acting Police Chief David Provencher, Robida is wanted on attempted murder, assault, and civil rights violations charges leveled by Prosecutor Paul Walsh, Jr., who termed Robida “dangerous”, “not rational”, and “probably armed”.

According to his mother, Robida stopped by the house, bleeding from the head, within an hour after the attacks and it’s assumed he re-armed himself then before fleeing to parts unknown. Police later searched the house, finding “anti-Semitic writings on the wall” and “Nazi regalia”.

A woman at the bar IDed Robida from observation of him at New Bedford High School. School officials wouldn’t confirm if he was currently enrolled. He did graduate in 2001 from New Bedford’s Junior Police Academy, a boot camp for 12- to 14-year-olds mostly sent there by juvenile courts or social services agencies.

The hospitalized victims are: Robert Perry, Alex Taylor, and Luis Rosado. One was shot in the back with other injuries – it’s assumed he’s the one who remains in critical condition.

The bar owner, Richard F. Macedo, says this is the first such attack on the bar in the 15 years he’s owned it. Regular patrons disagreed, saying that there had been not infrequent incidents of “low level harassment”. Macedo said he would reopen on schedule by way of declaring that people like Robida will not be allowed to win.

There was a candlelight vigil held by about 150 people outside Thursday evening attended at which Mayor Scott Lang declared, “This was a crime against everyone in this city.”

Monica Kelp | February 5, 2006 2:06 AM

Two words: Pink Pistols!

...No, wait, it happened in Mass., where all victims are equally disarmed. Funny how the bad guys aren't, isn't it?


Marla R. Stevens | March 3, 2006 12:02 AM

Generally I'm not one to advise arming oneself. I've had to live that way in the past and it's a heavy burden to be prepared to kill, knowing that hesitation gets most killed as they're disarmed and their weapons used against them but that not being certain of the target and its danger could leave one with the weight and consequences of having harmed an innocent (not to mention the consequences to the innocent!)

It takes excellent training, frequent practice, and lots of mental preparation. It helps to have physical training in self-protection to go along with it. In other words, it's not a decision to be made in the heat of things.