Two more charged in ex-'Top Chef 2' chef Josie Smith-Malave attack
By Christopher Rocchio, 11/19/2007
Josie Smith-Malave was upset about the lack of progress police were making after the openly gay Top Chef second-season finalist and a few of her friends were the victims of gay-bashing outside a Long Island nightclub over Labor Day weekend, and her outcry apparently led to results.
Only two days after Smith-Malave filed a complaint against Nassau Police for not pursuing or filing serious enough charges against two suspects allegedly involved in the crime, two women have been charged in the case, The Associated Press reported Monday.
Twenty-one-year-old Melissa Trimarchi was charged with misdemeanor assault and was subsequently released on an appearance ticket until her November 30 court date, The AP reported. In addition, 20-year-old Elizabeth Borroughs was charged with aggravated harassment -- also a misdemeanor -- and was subsequently released on an appearance ticket until her November 23 court date, according to The AP.
After being asked to leave Partners -- a Sea Cliff, Long Island-based nightclub -- on September 1 by bouncers for an unknown reason, Smith-Malave alleged she and two others were "attacked for their sexual preferences." Smith-Malave reportedly suffered bruises while her heterosexual sister was also "beaten" by the group and a friend hurt her head.
Matthew W. Walli -- a 20-year-old from Oregon who was living homeless in New York at the time of the incident -- was arraigned in Nassau District Court in September for the alleged attack on a charge of robbery as a bias crime.
Walli and a group of approximately 10 others allegedly encircled Smith-Malave and her friends and began hurling anti-gay slurs at the them. In addition, Walli also allegedly stole an $800 video camera from Smith-Malave. While the camera was reportedly returned to Partners the next day -- it no longer contained the video Smith-Malave had filmed -- which included images of the alleged attackers.
Smith-Malave filed a complaint on Friday against the Internal Affairs Division of the Nassau Police -- who responded to the scene of the incident -- stating police had not been acting quick enough in the case, Newsdayreported.
"What police had told everyone was that this would be treated as a hate crime," Smith-Malave's lawyer Yetta Kurland said in a Friday news conference, according to Newsday. "[The department] has broken its promise to the public and to my clients to treat the vicious attack... as the violent hate crime it was."
At the time, police spokesman Sgt. Anthony Repalone told Newsday "the commissioner of police has been personally monitoring this case" and added an arrest was made last week in connection with the attack, presumably a reference to either Trimarchi or Borroughs.