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Man Records Himself Spitting on Pride Flag outside Astoria Gay Bar

The man in the video who spat on a LGBTQ pride flag outside Albatross Bar

Sept. 18, 2019 By Allie Griffin

A man spat on a gay pride flag hanging outside of Queen’s oldest LGBTQ bar and recorded a video of it which he posted online Monday — and now the bar’s owner and staff are asking the public for help identifying him.

The owner of Albatross Bar, located at 36-19 24th Ave., said he received a copy of the video via e-mail Monday night, shortly after it was posted to YouTube. He said he initially thought to ignore it, but after thinking on it, he decided to post it to try to find the suspect.

He downloaded the video, rather than posting it directly from Youtube so the spitter wouldn’t get any views.

“The way it was posted, it almost seemed like they were trying to attract attention, they wanted the attention, they wanted this to come out and get a lot of hits and a lot of negativity towards their page,” the bar’s owner said.

The caption of the Youtube video reads “stupid kid spit on LGBTQ flag and get chased by transgenders,” but no one is shown in the video chasing him. Albatross’ staff only learned of the incident after the video was posted.

The user’s channel doesn’t use a real name and its other videos are of self-created rap songs.

“We decided to download it ourselves and put it on our own platforms, so no one would be giving him any attention but we could still get it out there and hopefully find his face,” he added.

The owner, who declined to give his name, said the bar has dealt with occasional hecklers before, but “nothing as bad as this,” since his nearly five years of owning the bar.

He said the bar has always been a safe place for members of the LGBTQ community and they’ve never felt unsafe, but when staff members saw the video they were “very angry, very angry.”

“It’s just awful stuff. It’s the world we live in right?” the owner said.

Yet, together with his staff, he decided to take a stand against the act of hatred and posted the video.

“You can’t just lie down to these things, you need to stand up and say they’re not right,” he said.

The bar owner was in the process of reporting the crime to police, when he spoke with the Astoria Post. He asked that anyone who recognizes the man in the video, report him to police or directly to Albatross Bar.

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90 Comments

When you disrespect pride you disrespect Giuliani

Just because he likes to wear women’s clothes doesn’t mean Giuliani wasn’t there for our city.

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Heidi

My car has been broken into so many times in Astoria. Perhaps I’ll have to add a LGBTQ bumper sticker for some of our local authorities and politicians to care the next time I report it.

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tyrone

I guess for some a youthful looking man who wears his cap backwards, uploads rap music and posts a stupid video of him spitting on a flag is cause to be fearful and seek public help in identifying him. If he is charged with anything maybe Caban (public defender) could help throw out the case.

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Carla

Oh please. As they say…Water off a duck’s back. He should just rap about it like all the others do.

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Julio

People burn American flags and Vandalize Trump logos and beat people up for wearing MAGA hats etc… but no outrage? It’s acceptable correct?

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That's not what fascism is

You know that “fascist” means something more than “bad” right?

Just kidding; of course you don’t.

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MrAmerica

Vandalizing Trump logos and beating up people who wear MAGA hats is not in the same category as burning the American flag.

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Luis

Freedom of speech has to be universal, what’s ok for one has to be ok for all. Some want special treatment. In matters like above, just make sure you own the property before you do something to it.

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Jon

Wait, there are videos of people beating up Trump people in Astoria? Post the link.
I’m sure someone was outraged.

Are you saying that 100% of the population was not outraged or are you say less than 10%?

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Anonymous

Religion n sexuality preference IS NOT the same! Im not saying it was right but the comparison is a bit too much! JS!

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Ricky

Agreed! Where do people get off comparing something that one can change freely, as often as they like, or live a perfectly wonderful life in the complete absence of, with something folks are born with, and have no say in being or not.

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Jon

Are religions special?
What is important to one person might not be important to another.

Why not ask for help with the media?

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Jessica

We need better people in office who will help local communities on these matters. Tiffany Caban for Astoria City Council!! I heard she is announcing another run for office soon.

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Kevin

This is such a shame. Astoria has always been such a welcoming community until recently. I guess crime and all the quality of life issues are changing the way people feel. I hope he is caught and sentenced to do community service for a couple of hours at Drag Queen Story Hour.

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Bill Wilson

In case you weren’t aware, Astoria is home, or adjacent to, to several large HOUSING PROJECTS-where actual crimes happen. Spitting on a piece of cloth that is symbolic it probably not high on their list of priorities. Think this through. They track down the person who spit on the flag. Then what?

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Derrick

Could They please remove those silly flags? Ok your a gay bar good for you no need for those silly flags in a predominantly residential area. Dont understand why a bar is allowed to zoned on that residential block from get go let alone a bar with silly flags.

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JJ

The LGBTQ flag is hanging throughout so many residential homes and business’ all over Astoria including the above neighborhood. If you do not like it then you can just leave.

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Derrick

You missed the point. Point being that this is quiet residential block , no need for bar with flags to attract haters and all that hupla, in first place. That area shouldn’t be zoned for bar in first place.

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Sara Ross

I’ve seen people hang flags with the Easter Bunny, Shamrocks, even Halloween ones. It’s pride in whatever makes you happy. Not for anything, but you could fit the N train through those nostrils of his.

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Yana

So if someone spits on your Easter bunny, shamrock or Halloween flag will you call the police or media and claim its an act of hate so you need help in finding who he is? Will anyone charge them with anything? Do not get me wrong, the video is awful but turning this into a public “search” doesn’t make sense.

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Tabatha

Noses come in all shapes and sizes. Your attitude and comments about the appearance of a person of color is racists.

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Vicky

There are Irish Rover just down the street is also on a residential block and has an American flag out front AND an Irish flag. It’s safe to assume you want them to take that down too and maybe stop operating? If the problem is the flags and the presence of a bar?

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Not Freedom of Speech or Expression

This behavior is repugnant. Also, no one has the right to damage anyone’s property (example: spitting on a flag), so the folks who claim this is freedom of expression need to remove their heads from their….

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Agatha

Yes lets all start claiming damage to property when someone purposely spits, vomits, drops litter, leaves dog poop/urine, etc in front of our homes or hallways. Just make sure you have particular flags or religious symbols around so some take you seriously.

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Joy

Do you own a home? Do you know that property lines do sometimes extend to the sidewalk (most in Astoria do)? Have you seen what happens on stoops and steps and front yards when these drunk people come out of the bars? Have you heard the way they yell and scream and the foul language that they use? Perhaps you do not live next to one of these places or you do not mind it.

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Anonymouzz

Not city owned. Last time I checked if someone falls I pay for them, not the city. Oh that’s right you, rent you wouldn’t understand.

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KL

The owners of the bar are asking for the public’s help in identifying him. We do not know if the police are looking to charge him with anything. There is nothing wrong with people commenting.

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Vicky

I am more concerned about the sidewalk steel cellar/hatch double doors opened in the video with no warning signs for pediatricians!!! Its very unsafe especially because so many children pass that area during the day.

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Paul Kersey

what crime was committed? Why aren’t people upset with littering, graffiti, public urination, panhandling, fare evasion? Someone spits on a piece of cloth it is now a hate crime and resources need to be used to track down the culprit?

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Jon

People are upset with these things….not sure why you think people aren’t .

Please post the videos you have of people doing these things.

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Bill Wilson

Are they upset Jon? If they were they would act on them then. Like they pile on to any differing opinion about the hysteria surrounding a man spitting on a piece of cloth. Please walk down Steinway street at any given hour, any day,to see the filth, the public urination and intoxication-quality of life crimes. No video needed.

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Paul Kersey

Yes it is. It is probably made of polyester. Multicolored dyes are used to make it a rainbow. Likely made in China-in a sweatshop. These are facts. Symbolism, and the hysteria surrounding these symbols, is the root of many of the world’s problems. This is no different. Someone spit on a piece of cloth out in view of the public. Sometimes these things happen. The kneejerk response that this was a “hate crime” and police must investigate this is absurd.

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Sara Ross

That piece of cloth is what allows you to speak your mind and what thousands of brave men and women have fought to protect!

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ProudBlackGay

Most of the people that began the LGBTQ movement were POC. In no way does that flag represent that.

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Anonymous

Nonsense. Jingoism is abundant here. I can’t speak my mind-I can barely do so on a blog without offending someone an risking losing my job and reputation. How is that freedom of expression. Please go back on the zoloft

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Sheila

So the owners post his video on line asking for the public’s help in identifying him but they themselves choose to remain anonymous. To me, the person in the videos looks like a young man who did a stupid thing and posted it on line. Seeing the video and his appearance I would say check your own biases before you start living in fear.

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Jackey

You do not see him actually spitting. It could of been splashes of water he thrown or the wind carried over. This just may be a prank video.

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Juls

I don’t condone it but was there a law broken here? I see worse things than this during my nightly walk from the train to my apartment every night.

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jm

I’m no lawyer but the issue isn’t whether it’s technically legal or not, or if you see things that you consider worse every night.

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Juls

I agree with your second point, but not the first. If it’s not illegal, then move on. Lots of other more important news.

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Stacy

There are lots of mentally ill people walking around in Astoria. I have seen woman get cursed and harassed and no one gets involved. I have footage of what looked like a teen urinating at my doorstep but the police told me it was a civil matter and to call 311.

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FOH

Perhaps vandalism, but it doesn’t have to be a crime to be reported here, does it? The neighborhood should know a disgusting homophobe lives in the area and to be on the lookout.

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Marco Polo

Hey now, when sexuality becomes a political stance, dissension is sure to follow… LOLOLOL. Federalist Paper #OU812.

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Harry Bingham IV

So what? If he had spit on the American Flag, most readers here wouldn’t care at all and many would outright condone it. Let him exercise his free speech you hypocritical lefties. By the way, if he were a Caucasian, this would already be considered a hate crime. Just my two cents kiddies. See ya later.

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Esther

To one of your points, the New York Police Department says that hate crimes in the city are up 67 percent this year. Of those, a whopping 80 percent have been anti-Semitic hate crimes. We have an epidemic of anti-Jewish violence in Brooklyn that is being virtually ignored because many of the assailants are non-white.

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Harry Bingham IV

Yes, Esther, just this past week an Hassidic Jewish man in Brooklyn was accosted and robbed by four colored youth in the early morning hours. According to NYPD, “not a hate crime, just a random robbery..” If this same thing happened to a gay man, it would immediately be termed a hate crime because in the diabolical hierarchy of leftist thought, a gay man is more important than a Jewish man.

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Anonymous

Then your progressive liberal mayor must be lying about how successful his regime has been in combatting all forms of crime.

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Kristina

These are the type of people the Ditmars area has been dealing with lately rude, obnoxious, hateful and too often dangerous but many like to deny it until it effects them. Wake up Astoria!

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Beatrice

Sen. Mike Gianaris responded on their twitter page and it reads “I alerted @NYPD114Pct and am working with @AlbatrossNYC to find the person responsible and prevent more acts of hate”. Which is kind of strange because he supported Caban who would of most likely not prosecuted something like this. Would be nice if he also worked with the public and authorities to figure out who murdered that woman on Steinway a couple of blocks away from this location last week.

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Anonymous

“Would be nice if he also worked with the public and authorities to figure out who murdered that woman on Steinway a couple of blocks away from this location last week” That wasn’t classified as a hate crime. Judge, Jury, and Job Killer Gianaris will not tolerate hate crimes. Anything else they can’t be bothered with because that would distract them from lining their pockets with kickbacks. Also that crime happened on the stretch of Steinway where laws don’t apply to certain religious groups.

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Georgina

I live up the block on 37th St and will sometimes pop in for a drink! This local dive caters to the entire community. Everyone is welcome there, no matter your orientation. I would hate to imagine someone could be this disgusting ! Albatross is amazing, keep those tunes going!

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Marco Polo

Apparently, Beatrice, you haven’t been living in Astoria long enough to know Gianaris’ sexuality. Rumors around the neighborhood for years that his preference for Greek doesn’t stop at the culinary level.

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Tom

When its windy I always get hit in the face by the flag when i turn the corner and I am in that area. Would be nice if they hung it on the other side.

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Maria

I guess he has the right to not agree with the lifestyle but its not nice of him to do that. I wish that place would sweep all their cigarette buds off the sidewalk every now and then and be more respectful of neighbors when playing loud music.

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