Man charged in attack on same-sex couple from West Point

Story highlights

  • Larry Lennox-Choate, one of the men attacked, calls Wednesday "a good day for freedom"
  • He and his husband were attacked in Manhattan's Soho neighborhood, police say
  • Thomas Clabough charged with assault as a hate crime, attempted assault as a hate crime

New York (CNN)New York police arrested a man Wednesday who they say randomly attacked a same-sex couple -- the first two men to be married at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Daniel Lennox-Choate and Larry Lennox-Choate, both former West Point cadets, were shopping at a small grocery store in Manhattan's Soho neighborhood on August 2 when they found themselves the target of anti-gay obscenities, police said.
Police said a man, whom they identified as Thomas Clabough, 57, of Queens, entered the store to buy beer but then began making homophobic statements at the couple, leading to a verbal dispute.
    The man allegedly struck Daniel Lennox-Choate in the face, causing minor injuries to his mouth. But the attacker didn't get away clean.
    "Aside from one fat lip and a sore punching arm, we are fine," Larry Lennox-Choate wrote on Facebook later. "The guy who screamed anti-gay obscenities at us in a bodega before sucker-punching Danny? He left covered in his own blood with his tail between his legs after I handled the situation and tossed him in the street like the coward loser he is."
    He added, "We refuse to be victims and are thankful we can defend ourselves, but are saddened by the fact that idiots like this guy might not pick two guys who went through Plebe Boxing next time."

    It's hard to believe that in 2015 we would have to deal with anti-gay hate crimes in soho of all places but that's what...

    Posted by Larry Lennox-Choate III on Sunday, August 2, 2015
    Clabough, who police say initially fled on bicycle, was charged Wednesday with assault as a hate crime and attempted assault as a hate crime.
    Daniel Lennox-Choate graduated West Point in 2007, and his husband graduated in 2009. They were married at the military academy's Cadet Chapel in November 2013.
    Reacting on Facebook to news of the arrest, Larry Lennox-Choate called Wednesday "a good day for freedom. Justice is in the air and it smells damn good."
    "Good always triumphs over evil," he added. "Maybe not on the timeline we'd prefer, but eventually."