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Police investigate possible attack outside Pi Alley bar

UPDATE: See the comments for a statement by the Alley. Also, the GoFundMe page has been taken down.

Michael Fontana, a drag performer who goes by the name Eileen Dover, says he was jumped and slashed in the neck and beaten by two or three men outside the Alley Bar on Thanksgiving night.

A Boston Police spokesperson said detectives are investigating the incident, which happened between 1:30 and 2 a.m., but did not have further details, in part because Fontana was "very intoxicated" when he first contacted police around 2:30 a.m.

On a GoFundMe page set up to cover his medical expenses and lost wages, Fontana posted a photo showing his neck wound and a description of what he says he remembers after two men came in the bar and unplugged the jukebox and they were asked to leave:

They were waiting outside, followed me up the street and my eventual assailant began screaming "you're all a bunch of racist pigs." I was surrounded. I told them that I understood that the world is tough right now but "Im on your side" that's the last thing I clearly remember.

They slashed my throat, broke my shoulder and crushed my phone so that I couldnt cal 911. They continued to beat me. The next thing I remember my friend found me and the police were there. I spent the night in the ER where they told me if my throat wound were a cm off I'd be dead,

He adds:

If I were to make any kind of statement I would say I forgive my attacker. Life is hard and the world is hot and if something I did or reminded him of brought him to that much rage than he is the one I feel sorry for. We must love one another and End Hate! It doesn't matter who is hating who when why or whatever.... IT NEEDS TO STOP! NOW! My attacker(s) I will pray you find it in your heart to heal from whatever angers you so even if it's me. I pray for that so your families don't have to lose you to the cycle of hatred as mine almost did thanksgiving night.

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Comments

Regarding Michael Fontana.
On Thanksgiving night Michael Fontana was socializing at The Alley. In the course of the evening, he engaged in an argument with two other customers. Both parties left approximately 8 minutes apart with Michael leaving first at 1:27AM.
According to the police report, Michael was attacked in Court Square later that night.
We are working with the Boston Police Department to provide the necessary video and piece together the timeline of events. This is a very unfortunate event and our sympathy is with Michael . We wish him a speedy recovery and will be doing everything we can to help bring the assailant to justice.
The Alley.

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Link to the Alley statement (I think you have to be logged into Facebook to read it, but Jim posted the whole thing).

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At least for me. Can anyone verify this?

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it's gone

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This turkey is cooked.

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One of his comments:

I have started to collect facts from people who were at the Alley. I have been in and out of recovery for 13 years, my memories from that night were diluted. I am still in a rough spot and no one deserves to be assaulted but Ive discovered that i argued with and in a lapse of judgement inflamed the man who was involved in this. Until I can really grasp all the details I need to refrain from speaking too quickly or taking too much advice. Go fund me may well go back up but if due to my lapse in judgement and my part to play in this if folks choose not to contribute Ill understand..Ive had the worst year of my life and it keeps getting worse and Im not helping matters. thank you for being my friends despite my shortcomings and i apologize for this circus... no one deserves to be on any end of someone else's anger not me, not the guy who hurt me. I spoke too soon, didn't ask questions to the folks who could've given me answers and acted out of fear. I am not a hateful person.. except maybe to myself which is toxic for anyone around me. As much as i like to think Im loving and giving i can also get angry and unreasonable. i do still need help but understand if people hesitate. just trying to sweep my side of the street up. I hope you all understand, my falible humanity. Im definitely a work in progress XX

Also from another commentator:

myself and a friend was there the night you were at the Alley my friend and I were sitting at the bar while you were telling us about your friend being in a car accident and paralyzed from the neck down and how everything is falling you on taking care of him and needed money ect.ect. ect.

You were obnoxiously drunk! You were escorted out by security and yelling racial slurs at another bar patron. Then you started to cry about your friend and how hard your life is while still yelling racial slurs in between sentences. My self and my friend left the bar because of you were disturbing our Thanksgiving Drink.

Maybe you shouldn't drink so much to the point you can't handle yourself!

The whole exchange can be found in the comments section of the original story here.

http://www.towleroad.com/2015/11/gay-attack-boston/

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I was sent this privately on Facebook last night around 11pm..

There's probably more to come on this..

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Have waited an hour with a slashed neck, he's not sure if it was two or three attackers. But he remembers being called a racist. And the police are stating they couldn't get anything out of him because he was so intoxicated.

"two men came in the bar and unplugged the jukebox"
or
"They were waiting outside, followed me up the street "

How am i suppose to feel bad for him. He may or may not have been asking for it.

It sounds like he said something to the wrong group on people, and why would you leave a bar if someone was waiting outside to beat you down?

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Based on the same exact information you have:

A) He waited half an hour because his friend was busy getting him to the hospital first. He also says he couldn't talk.

B) He didn't realize the assailants would be waiting for him outside.

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But not "B".

"Both parties left approximately 8 minutes apart with Michael leaving first"

But getting back to "A", That means he's friend watched him get beat up?
Or
"The next thing I remember my friend found me and the police were there."

Which means the cops met him on scene because a friend found him down the street.

I mean, i sucks he got beat up. But if you walk into incoming traffic there's a good chance you'll be hit. Dont start fights, that you can't finish.

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So you are saying if you verbally insult someone you better be able to finish a physical fight aka assault?

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If you're by yourself three sheets to the wind, don't talk shit to a group of strangers at 2am.

I'm no way justifying putting a guy in the hospital, but smarten up.

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Common sense often goes by the wayside when someone is 3 sheets to the wind.

Not an excuse, just a fact.

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that's it exactly. People think they can run their mouths ( I am one of them), but many times they do not realize that a large segment of the population are unhinged psychos, especially when drunk (this I do realize. However, I am comfortable competing with another person in a race to the hospital).

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Sounds like some guy said the wrong things to the wrong person but you are justifying physical violence because one or both of the parties may have been intoxicated. You are so quick to make a judgement on someone who got physically assaulted. Why?

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A poor man gets stabbed and beaten and the police are looking at the incident as a possible attack.
Pray for Mike ! I hope the police take this vicious attack seriously and charge the attackers with a Hate crime.

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Perhaps you should let the police know what you do.

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Thanks Adam for posting this.

All I have that I'm an Alley semi-regular so I'm a bit shocked to hear about this. Boston does have a seedy underbelly of racism and homophobia, but it's often not apparent because we don't have many attacks like this. I've lived here for over 15 years now, and this is the second type of attack I've ever heard of (or remember happening).

I will also say that this has started a firestorm on Facebook among several friends of mine, and people that know Micheal. (I do not know Michael personally). Everyone has alot to say about the matter, both for and against what happened. It actually got so bad on my facebook page, I deleted the post because it turned into a cat fight among several friends. (that and everyone seemed to private message me while I was at the gym to express their frustrations with other posters.. grrrrrr)

The Advocate has a slightly different take of events, and interviews from BPD and Tufts. It's worth a read.

Edit: corrected with updated opinion

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but do people think homophobia was a driving force in this assault? The were all at the same gay bar and and there is no indication (yet) that any homophobic slurs were used. While awful, this does sound like the type of altercation that could happen at any bar.

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Only repeating what was apart of the cat fight that was on my Facebook wall.

Do I think it was? At 10am I did. Now after reading more into it.. probably not so much.

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"At no time did the victim report any indications that this was a hate crime," added Lieutenant McCarthy of the Boston Police media relations unit.

Though this story is confusing and leaves a ton of questions.

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Yes, which is why I updated my post (but left in what I said so the comments below made sense). The GoFundMe page now is gone so now I'm like "hmmmmm?" There's more to this than meets the eye currently I think.

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I had checked the GoFundMe when I first heard of this yesterday, but it seemed odd-- notably the bit about being neglected by Tufts. I hope he does get the help he needs, and would support a GFM for someone in recovery, but the story as presented seemed off.

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As a side note, despite whatever the circumstances of this unfortunate event, I must say the few times I have been to that bar I always feel a little ill at ease when leaving. The actual alley itself, and both the DTX side and the Court Street side are so creepy and deserted late at night. And I'm a Bostonian and someone who is around DTX every day in the daytime, so it's not like I don't know the area. Despite all the luxury condos and development around there, not to mention a 24 hour Walgreens, they just never manage to give that area any kind of urban life feel after DTX empties out at the end of the business day.

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Thats about the only thing I don't like.. It is pretty dead in that area after 8pm. And don't walk down Washington toward DTX station from the alley. (even more so, Summer Street to SoStation is even worse)

Luckily I'm always walking toward haymarket and Quincy Market seems to have some activity in that direction later at night (probably due to the bars)

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Obviously early for speculation, but with things not exactly adding up, what's to say he didn't just drunkenly fall down and bust himself up, then craft a story using current events to his advantage? I'd hope this isn't the case, but it wouldn't be the first time it's happened.

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Because drunkenly falling down doesn't usually result in a slashed throat?

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I'm still trying to wrap my head around two people coming into the bar just before closing and unplugging the jukebox.

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are interesting because they concern two hot topic triggers: LGBT and race. For most of those who have commented, it appears race trumps LGBT. I think the defining issue for most is the fact he says they called him racist, and this seems to produce automatic negative opinions of him and his alleged assault. If there was no mention of racism, I believe most comments would be decidedly in his favor, and evoke homophobia.

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“I am suspicious of all the things that the average people believes.”
-- H.L. Mencken

Gay victims are having a particularly rough year with GoFundMe. The incident here, an assault with intent to murder according to the victim, but not even a brief mention on bpdnews.com and the GoFundMe page is quickly removed? Next, the Utah man who faked he was beaten and had a gay slur "carved" into him was forced to return his $11,000+ GoFundMe earnings. Yet another was the fake "Relentlessly Gay" note supposedly left at a Baltimore County home that resulted in $43,000+ of GoFundMe earnings being returned. Best to be cautious when crime occurs and fundraising immediately begins.

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What's going on in the building that used to be the Kirstein Business Branch Boston Public Library 20 City Hall Avenue?

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What happened to the Kirstein Business Branch? I was a regular there back in the 80's. RIP KBB.

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The Kirstein now operates out of the basement of the Johnson Building of the BPL in Copley Square. Or at least it did until the endless renovations there which never seem to be finished. The BPL must be taking lessons in renovation from the T.

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KBB has been on the second floor of the McKim Bldg for well over a year.

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I am looking forward to the follow up on this incident from BPD and the Alley Bar. There is definitely more to this story than has been reported. While I don't want to rush to any judgment, the details of this story keep changing and are so inconsistent, the gofundme account has promptly been removed, and the "victim" has been loudly defensive all over many social networks, leaving me to keep an open mind about what actually happened that night. I was at the bar that night, and actually left the bar around the same exact time as the "victim". It was a very quiet night at the alley. Aside from MF who was extremely intoxicated , loud, and overly emotional, there were less than 10 people at the bar. At first, MF seemed like a harmless guy, but immediately was very annoying and very drunk, becoming angry, and constantly yelling/pointing at customers. Its a bar- and these things happen- but what was really off-putting, and what I keep coming back to, was that he was repeatedly asking strangers for money to care for a recently disabled boyfriend, suggesting that he was now the full time caretaker and because of this had no time to work. It was Thanksgiving night. My friend and I were in good spirits, and offered him a sympathetic ear, listened to his story and tried to offer some friendly advice- but something was off. The story didn't make sense. Something didn't seem right. Our instincts told us that we were being scammed. This may or may not be the case- but when it became clear that this guy was not going to let us enjoy a drink together, We humored him but politely made our way to the other side of the bar to get away from him. He was so loud and obnoxious to the other patrons- repeating the story and asking for money and showing photos of a hospitalized man on his cell phone- that the atmosphere was simply not enjoyable. We felt it was best to just leave. As we left, we noticed MF was also making his way towards the exit. We waited in the area a few minutes for an uber, and didn't see or hear anything out of the ordinary. The streets were dead. I've been going to the alley bar for over 10 years, many times alone, and I have never felt unsafe or threatened. I don't wish violence upon anyone, and I hope things get better for MF... I just really hope after viewing security tapes, hospital records, and talking to the bar, the BPD find out what really happened that night.

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This year has been brutal and yea a friend of mine was injured and paralyzed. I am a recovering alcoholic who had a relapse. I drank bc I felt my world was falling apart I am SO SO sorry for the insanity of the night. I don't have to care for my friend, I don't even know why I was saying that and I definitely wasn't trying to scheme anyone, it was drunken idiocy and I am entering rehab next week. I have a broken clavicle a busted eardrum and a sliced throat. I don't think the punishment fit my crime but I sure feel stupid and asa result I put myself in danger. Here are facts collected from the BPD the alley and others. The go fund me is just for my private friends to help me get better. I am humbled and seeking immediate help for addiction. I hope someday people will forgive. Only my future actions will mend. Here goes...

THE TRUTH: .. Anything else will be answered by those more qualified to answer. I apologize for the circus this has created.
Hello Friends,
The past several days have been the most challenging I can recall. I think it’s time to try to put what I know to be true out there and omit what I don’t know. I want to start by saying I feel awful if anyone feels lied to or deceived. It was not at all my intention.
On Thanksgiving, last Thursday, I celebrated with family. I do not drink with my family because they know I’m a recovering alcoholic. I have been struggling lately but working on it. I’ve had some significant life challenges and like most people the holidays kinda emphasize those things for me. I made a ver bad decision. I left my families home and went out to drink.
I arrived at the Alley somewhere around 11:30-12am. I ordered a drink then another, then another. I don’t recall the specifics.
WHAT I KNOW
I was playing music on the jukebox, probably singing along. I was chatting with a friend, I recall the conversation was a variable pity party on my side as things like I said have been challenging lately.
Someone unplugged the jukebox and I became angry. I thought the individual was with 2 people but I was blurry and fuzzy. I thought I recalled the man yelling racist at everyone in the bar.
I was told by the bartender that it was probably best i call it a night. I don’t remember who left first, I don’t remember leaving i only remember feeling upset.
I went outside walked up to where a friend was waiting to meet me to drive me home and was attacked. I thought there were multiple assailants but I was intoxicated. The assault happened, I remember int the middle of it saying “I’m on your side, I’m not a racist” I remember the assailant repeating that i was a racist. I thought there were 2 others there but I don’t remember clearly.
I remember hearing a bottle smash and feeling a cut on my neck.
I remember reaching for my phone and having my hand stomped on and the phone broken. I remember being kicked in the head. That’s all I remember.
The next thing I recall was officers on the scene. They asked what happened and I gave a rambling report as I “remembered it” which was barely clear with the exception of the few things I mentioned. My friend was there too. The cops asked me to get up. and to give them more detail (this is according to my friend btw I don’t recall this) I was hysterical and unable to give details…obviously. The cops laughed at me as I lay there crying and repeating “look at what they did to me, they tried to kill me”. (this according to my friend)
Apparently the police gave me 2 options hospital or jail, I chose hospital and my friend drove me. I do recall the officers laughing at me. I recall being so scared as well. They kept asking me to get up but i couldn’t because my shoulder was broken.
At the hospital I was interviewed by police and was still upset and unable to clearly recall everything. I told them the same story I thought I remembered. My friend was out in his car so I had no one to assist me with the details. I was told my shoulder was broken near the joint and it was advised that I stabilize the right side of my torso and upper body as the joint moves every time I do because its connected to so much.
I was told I had no significant head trauma but i was hit and or kicked in the head which may have accounted for some memory loss but with the alcohol on board it’s really hard to tell. I was told if my throat laceration was a cm off I could’ve died. I was told whomever did this must have meant business
I went home. I slept till Sunday I was scared to leave the house or to do anything. I took to Facebook for support. My friends were so amazing. at least a half dozen insisted I start a fund page. I was angry hurt scared sad and confused. I reluctantly set the page up following it’s instructions. I told what I thought was the story . I made a HUGE mistake… I didn’t corroborate my story with anyone else. The page made money and I felt so warm that people were so kind. I figured things were going to be ok.
WHAT I DIDN’T KNOW
I didn’t know I had conversed with this man at the bar. I didn’t know that we had argued. I didn’t know that both of us exchanged slurs. I didn’t know that I left first. I didn’t know that the police said I was uncooperative. I didn’t know how intoxicated I was.
WHAT I WAS TOLD
I was told I left before the guy who attacked me. I was told that I was asked to leave the Alley for my own safety as I was smashed. I was told that the man was either alone or with one friend not 2. I was told that I was probably attacked by the man at the bar while waiting for my ride as I left the bar first. I was told I was hysterical. I was told both myself and the assailant used racial slurs during our argument. I was told that no matter what happened I had to start a go fund me as I am unable to use my left arm.
WHO I AM
I am not a racist, I have trauma history and have been hurt many times before,one of my worst coping skills is using the worst possible insult or verbiage in order to hurt someone who I feel is hurting me. I am an entertainer and I take things more lightly than most. (NO EXCUSE) I assure you I judge people on a person to person basis. I am someone who has devoted the last 10 years of my life to helping the underserved and communities of color, the LGBT community and Transgender individuals. I’d truly give the shirt off my back to anyone who needed it. Im generous and I help people to my own detriment. MOST IMPORTANTLY I am an alcoholic who drowns my pain in alcohol. I make all my worst mistakes drunk. I’m a person who was bullied and abused as a kid and I blow up when I feel this is happening now. I am sorry for jumping the gun on this claim. Alcoholism is a terrible disease that causes people to do messed up things and have lapses in memories. I want you all to know I wasn't having fun.
RIGHT NOW
Right now Im in a lot of pain. physical, emotional, and spiritual. I feel as though I’ve lost everything. I feel as though no one deserves to be beaten and have their throat cut no matter what. I feel that i should have waited until I had all the information to start a campaign. I stand by the fact that this was a brutal attack carried out by a coward. I need help but I’d rather do it all alone then to hurt my community. I intend to prosecute this man for attempted murder. I still don’t know the sexuality of my attacker. I feel more alone than ever. I have a new found dedication to trying to remain sober. I want to apologize to anyone who feels misled or lied to. I didn’t lie, I just didn’t know what I was talking about.
PRESS/APOLOGY
They always make things worse but before putting anything into the public arena I really should’ve been sure. The press is merciless. And people who have never ever met me are judging me. I assure you those closest to me. know I never meant to hurt anyone, though many are frustrated with me, I don’t blame them.
I will say nothing further on this matter. This is the most accurate account of what happened that I have. I am SO sorry to anyone who feels betrayed. At the end of the day I was brutally attacked but I had all my facts totally mixed up and for that I owe everyone an apology. The next you will hear of this will be from the BPD and other people who have a better working knowledge of what happened. The press has never shown up to a single benefit myself or any of my friends have been to. I pray no one ever has to go through this but Im sure I wont be the last.
Thank you for listening. I hope as many people read the truth as did the scattered ramblings of a confused scared drunk. I’m more than just those things but in this case those are the things that hurt folks. Peace be with all of you,

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Wow, I didn't realize just how much damage was done.

https://www.gofundme.com/thanksgivingbeatin

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