Some 19-year-old named William Gomez from Coney Island got kicked out of the Stonewall Inn — the bar that spawned the start of the modern LGBTQ civil rights movement — early Saturday morning. So he came back and smashed the front window with a baseball bat at 4:30 a.m., damaging its iconic red neon sign and costing over $6,800 in damages. The Stonewall Inn window has since been replaced, but all this raises the question: What the heck was a 19-year-old doing there in the first place? The legal drinking age is 21, after all.
Gomez’s mother told the New York Daily News that he isn’t gay, he just went to the bar with co-workers. She also claims that her son told her from jail that a bouncer was harassing a co-worker and that the bounder punched him in the face when removing him from the bar.
Since bars in New York City close at 4 a.m., Gomez waited until after closing time to commit his crime, but he has since been charged was criminal mischief and reckless endangerment and was released after his arraignment on Saturday.
His mom said, “He’s a quiet boy. He doesn’t get into trouble,” but perhaps that isn’t the case seeing as he was apparently arrested for an assault in Brooklyn in October of last year, accused of criminal impersonation in 2015 and was arrested on a robbery charge in 2014, according to the New York Daily News.
On June 24, 2016, President Barack Obama officially designated the Stonewall National Monument, making it the United States’ first National Monument designated for an LGBT historic site.
Nevertheless, Gomez isn’t being charged with a hate crime because it seems like his breaking the Stonewall Inn window had nothing to do with his feelings towards LGBTQ people.