Woman leaving club on New Year's Eve is stabbed in her right eye during attack
A Buffalo, New York woman was stabbed in her right eye after she and two friends were attacked by two gay-bashing women outside a downtown club following a New Year's Eve celebration.
Lindsay C. Harmon said she and two friends were minding their own business as they walked out of Roxy's, a lesbian nightclub, at about 2 a.m. Friday to head home when two women, in the company of four men, shouted gay slurs at them and then attacked them.
Harmon, a 29-year-old West Side resident, does not have vision in her eye, and it is not known whether she will regain it. She has seven stitches in her right eyelid and eye, along with several stitches in her right cheek and her left arm.
"It could be a long time before anything is solid, positive or negative, with my sight," Harmon said. She was transported by ambulance to Erie County Medical Center, where she underwent three hours of surgery.
"I hope the police catch the woman who stabbed me. I want to sit in front of her and ask her how and why you do this," Harmon said. "I don't understand it. I really don't know why anyone at all would attack someone. I wonder how somebody brings themselves to attack another person."
The attack occurred a little more than 12 hours after two Buffalo women were arrested on hate crime charges for attacking a 20-year-old man they allegedly claimed was gay in the Walden Galleria parking lot.
But there apparently is no connection between the two incidents.
"I believe this is pretty much a coincidence. This is something we rarely see," said Cheektowaga police Capt. James Speyer.
The women in the attack at about 1:30 p.m. Thursday outside the Cheektowaga mall remain incarcerated in the Erie County Holding Center.
Buffalo police issued an appeal Tuesday afternoon urging anyone who witnessed the latest attack, on the border of Allentown, to call the confidential tip line at 847-2255.
"Somebody may have seen something, and we're asking them to come forward," police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge said.
The stabber was described as a 19- to 23-year-old, pale white-skinned female, about 5 feet, 6 inches tall, 120 to 130 pounds, with wavy, dirty blond hair and wearing a tiara that was left at the scene. She also was wearing a white-colored bubble coat, brown boots and blue jeans. Her companion, also white, was estimated to be 22 to 24 years of age, about 140 pounds with dark hair.
Nichole Bauer, Harmon's girlfriend, said she and their other friend, Dina Coniglio, had already gotten inside their car outside the club on the 800 block of Main Street when the two women began shouting at them.
"They started harassing us, throwing very hateful words around ... ," Bauer said. "I got out of the car, and Dina told them to shut their mouths."
Then the encounter turned violent.
Bauer said she was punched in the face and fell to the ground and got back up. At about the same time, Harmon said, she began urging her companions to walk away from the confrontation.
"I tried breaking up the argument. I said, "Let's go home. Let's get out of here.' I was walking away, and she [the attacker] came behind me, and I got nailed. I thought I'd been punched, and I fell. I just sat there waiting for her to kick me or something," Harmon said.
Coniglio said at that point she managed to punch the woman, not realizing she was armed with a knife.
Bauer said she also attempted to go after the woman who had assaulted Harmon, but one of the men restrained her and said the attacker had a knife. Coniglio then began assisting Harmon.
"Lindsay just kept saying, "Dina, I can't see out of my eye,' " Coniglio recalled.
By this time the woman with the knife and her female companion had run away, according to Bauer.
Two of the men remained at the scene and gave statements to police, Bauer said, adding that the men claimed they were not involved with the two women and the other two men, who disappeared.
Harmon said this was the first time she has ever been attacked because of her sexual orientation.
"I just remember saying, "What did you say?' " Harmon recalled of the moment the attackers began shouting the slurs. "It's just crazy to me. I'd never think anyone would say that in the main gay area of Buffalo. I've been going to Roxy's for like 10 years."
She says she is grateful the attacker did not cut her throat.
"I keep thinking it was not my throat, and I'm alive. I've been praying a lot, and all my friends and family are taking care of me. Without them, I don't know what I'd do," Harmon said. "There's flowers and packages and pajama-grams coming to the house."
Police are still looking for the attacker(s), fyi.