On Wednesday, February 2, 2006, Jacob D. Robida, 18, entered Puzzles Lounge in New Bedford, MA with a hatchet, a gun and a question. His question was, "Is this a gay bar?
The positive answer that he was given prompted Robida to put three innocent men in the hospital as Massachusetts was rocked with one of the biggest hate crimes in recent times:
Alex Taylor, 29, of Fairhaven was hit in the face multiple times with the hatchet as well as shot in the face by Robida. Alex Taylor remains hospitalized.
Luis Rosado, 22, of New Bedford was shot in the stomach by Robida as he exited the mensroom. Luis Rosado remains hospitalized in serious condition with a shattered liver.
Robert Perry, 52, of Dartmouth who came to the aid of victim, Alex Taylor, received lacerations to the face from the hatchet as well as a bullet wound to his back which just missed his spinal column. Robert Perry thankfully was released but will carry the physical and emotional scars of Jacob Robida's horrific act of violence.
In response to the anticipated needs of these three individuals, KnowThyNeighbor.org has established the New Bedford Hate Crime Victims Fund and we are asking for your support. Your donation will help these victims with whatever they may need, be it medical bills, rehabilitation or everyday living expenses that cannot be met while they are hospitalized.
If you are a member of any minority which has suffered from a history of violence and discrimination, then you know that what happened that night to these three men could have just as easily happened to you. We ask you not to forget the victims of the Puzzles Lounge Hate Crime. Please give and give generously. The eyes of the world will look upon how we come to the aid of those in need.
Your charitable contributions are tax deductible.
Tom Lang & Aaron Toleos, Directors
(978) 335-0477, email@example.com
UPDATE 3/7/06: A seven member volunteer committee has been organized in New Bedford to collect and manage contributions for the hate crime victims.
All contributions should now be made to the New Bedford Victims of Hate Crimes - Victims Fund. Read more and find out how to donate at the Puzzles Lounge website.