NEW YORK - The family of openly gay Filipino-America journalist Randy Gener expressed gratitude to authorities as well as to the community for focusing on his case.
"The family of Randy Gener would like to thank all of the people who have helped move along the investigation," said Gener's sister, Jessica Blair Dreissler.
Latest development in the case resulted in the arrest of suspect identified by police as 24-year old Leighton Jennings. Jennings was arrested on Tuesday night and charged with second degree assault.
"We are pleased and relieved that a suspect has finally been apprehended and trust that the NYPD and District Attorney will make all efforts to bring justice for Randy. At this time, we are focusing on Randy's healing and moving forward together as a family," said Dreissler who declined to be interviewed on camera to spend more time with her brother.
An Associated Press report said the NYPD Hate Crime Task Force has determined that the attack was not a hate crime or not a bias crime.
While the motive is still under investigation, a police source told Balitang America that some kind of dispute preceded the attack.
"We are thankful to the New York Police Department, particularly the Hate Crimes Task Force, for conducting a thorough and swift investigation," his sister stated in an email to Balitang America.
Gener was on his way home from a Broadway after-party on January 18 when he was brutally punched in the face in Midtown Manhattan. His wallet, phone and jewelry were not taken by the suspect.
"We are eternally grateful to the community (particularly the Filipino American and arts communities) for raising awareness about this incident, for showing solidarity and generosity through organizing vigils and events, and for creating a fund to support ongoing medical expenses. Finally, we are thankful for all who have benevolently offered their services, particularly the New York City Anti-Violence Project," she added. -- Report from Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau