Police are investigating an incident from Sept. 27 when a man allegedly assaulted an employee and hurled anti-LGBTQ rhetoric at staff and patrons inside Pint, one of two gay bars in Jersey City.
In a Facebook post, the bar wrote that a man who has not been publicly identified asked an employee why there was a Rainbow Flag in the window.
“When told we are [a] gay bar, he flew into a rage and said gays target children,” the post reads. He then said “gay people and gay bars should be illegal,” before allegedly calling staff and customers “f*ggots and homos.”
Jersey City spokesperson Kim Wallace-Scalcione told Gay City News in an email that a probe is underway.
“Jersey City Police are investigating an incident where a disorderly man entered Pint bar on Wayne Street shortly after 4 p.m., and hurled anti-LGBTQ slurs at the staff on location before exiting in the Downtown section of the City,” Wallace-Scalcione wrote.
Wolf Sterling, Pint’s co-owner since 2009, said this was the first time the bar had experienced a homophobic incident of this kind.
“This is not reflective of Jersey City, this is not reflective of who we are,” he said in an Instagram video on Thursday. “At Pint and in Jersey City we are a diverse, welcoming place. We hope this matter is resolved soon and we’ll keep you updated as things progress.”
Sterling said in the video he was thankful the Police Department was taking the incident seriously, and also thanked the people who reached out to express their support for the bar.
Jersey City Councilmember James Solomon wrote on X that the hate incident is “as unwelcome as it is unbecoming.”
“Every queer person deserves to feel safe — and I’ve made very clear in light of the national rollback of LGBTQ+ rights that hate has no home in Jersey City,” he wrote.
In an interview with Gay City News, David Guirgis, a spokesman for Solomon, said the incident was alarming to Jersey City’s queer community, and just one of several examples of anti-LGBTQ incidents in the past several months.
On July 29 a false bomb threat delayed a Drag Queen Story Hour book reading in Jersey City’s Canco Park, while Six26 Lounge & Rooftop, another local queer bar, posted on Instagram that a brick had been thrown in their window early on the morning of Sept. 9.
“There’s been this horrible national uptick in anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric all across the country and we’ve seen the uptick in that sort of hatred right here,” Guirgis said.
Guirgis said the owners of Pint were able to photograph the suspect and take down their license plate.
“We’ve been working with the JCPD to really emphasize catching this person and making sure that justice is served,” Guirgis said.