Hearing scheduled in South Jersey assault case

Hearing scheduled in South Jersey assault case

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A hearing will be held this month regarding a civil suit filed by a South Jersey couple, who claim they were assaulted inside a local bar due to anti-LGBT animus. 

In May 2015, two patrons at King Street Pub in Gloucester City allegedly assaulted David Monaco and Florin Nikollaj and made derogatory comments about the couple’s sexual orientation.

The couple filed a civil suit against the pub in June 2016, claiming the establishment should be held liable for the incident. 

One of the alleged assailants told the bar manager he was “going to f*ck with those fags,” according to the suit, adding that “the bar manager, rather than taking any action to prevent that conduct, did absolutely nothing.”

A “proof hearing” on the dispute is slated for 1:30 p.m. Jan. 29 before New Jersey Superior Court Judge Daniel A. Bernardin at the Hall of Justice in Camden.

Stanley J. Bond, owner of King Street Pub, denied that his establishment is liable for any wrongdoing in the matter.

In an interview with PGN, Bond said he doesn’t have money at his disposal to give to the plaintiffs, particularly since he’s already expended $5,000 in legal fees.

Bond also dubbed the lawsuit “frivolous,” adding he shouldn’t be required to give any money to the plaintiffs.

Bond emphasized that he supports LGBT rights.

“A number of my customers are gay, lesbian or bisexual,” he said. “That’s none of my business. I find them friendlier than most people. I like everybody. It doesn’t make any difference. I’m a people person by nature. I respect those folks as much as anybody else.”

Deborah L Mains, an attorney for the plaintiffs, issued this statement: 

“Costello & Mains [Law Firm] does not file frivolous lawsuits. In our view, the conduct of the King Street Pub on the day in question constitutes a violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and does not evince support of LGBTQ rights.”

In a related matter, Gloucester City police said they submitted a bias-incident report to New Jersey State Police that apparently was lost in the mail. Thus, the incident doesn’t appear in the FBI’s hate-crimes report for 2015. A spokesperson for New Jersey State Police said the agency no longer accepts hate-crimes submissions from local agencies through the U.S. Postal Service.

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