BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (WIVT/WBGH) – A Town of Maine man says he was the victim of a hate crime over the weekend when a group of men assaulted him in downtown Binghamton, breaking his jaw in three places.
21-year-old Sage Keyes-Yale says a group of people started shouting homophobic slurs at him as he was walking on State Street at around 2 a.m. on Sunday.
Keyes-Yale, who is bisexual, was wearing makeup and nail polish at the time.
He says he was intoxicated and had just left a downtown bar looking for his friends who he had become separated from. He says that’s when a group of people on the other side of the street started yelling insults at him and he yelled back.
Next thing he knew, he was surrounded by men throwing punches at him.
“I was trying to say, ‘Can we please just talk about this? Settle things down, leave me alone.’ As soon as I tried settling things down with words, then my jaw is cracked and I’m getting stomped on on the floor,” said Keyes-Yale.
In addition to breaking his jaw in three places, Keyes-Yale lost teeth, dislocated his hip and has cuts and bruises on his legs.
He says there were about 50 people out on the street at the time, but none came to his aid. Instead, they laughed and cheered.
“I had no help. Nobody stepped in, nobody actually tried to come forward and just say, ‘Hey, back off of him. Why are you doing this? What did he do to deserve this?’ Nothing. Nothing,” said Keyes-Yale.
Keyes-Yale says that although there are typically several Binghamton police officers on the closed off block on Friday and Saturday nights, there were none there at the time to break up the fight.
An officer did eventually arrive and take him to Wilson Hospital. He was transferred to Upstate Medical in Syracuse where he underwent facial reconstructive surgery.
NewsChannel 34 has reached out to Binghamton Police for information about the beating.
Keyes-Yale says he doesn’t believe it’s safe for LGBTQ people to be out on the streets of Binghamton alone. And he’s surprised that in 2023, he would still be targeted for simply being himself.
See below to view the brawl.