You are reading

NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force dismisses claims that racism sparked attack near Shi last week

shiAug. 23, 2013 By Christian Murray

The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force has investigated the alleged bias attack that took place near Shi Restaurant early Saturday morning and has determined that the incident was not sparked by hate.

The Hate Crimes unit has turned the investigation over to the local 108 police precinct which is investigating the incident as an assault, according to a well placed police source.

Billie and Jacob James-Vogel, an interracial couple who had just dinned at the Shi Restaurant last Friday night, said that they and a gay friend were attacked outside the restaurant after three men from a nearby car began hurling homophobic and racist slurs.

Shortly after the insults, the couple said they were attacked based on their race. They also claimed that the incident occurred outside Shi Restaurant and the doorman refused to let them back inside.

The restaurant, located at 47-20 Center Blvd, became the focus of several news stories following the alleged hate crime—for not letting the victims of the alleged hate crime back into the restaurant. Many people went on Yelp and Facebook and tried to tear the restaurant’s reputation to shreds.

In a statement, Shih Lee, the owner of Shi Restaurant, said he was saddened by the whole ugly incident and expressed his sympathies for the victims.

However, he said “the surveillance footage confirms our understanding that the incident occurred down the street from the restaurant, away from the premises and not in front as initially reported.”

He said that eyewitnesses confirmed the surveillance footage that the the victims were not randomly attacked – and that Jacob James-Vogel had been asked to leave the restaurant prior to the incident as a result of his disorderly conduct.

Lee said that when he was informed of the scuffle, it was over when he went to door to see what had transpired. At that point several bystanders had already called the police and they were on their way.

He said he was caught completely by surprise when the restaurant became a focus of a news story on Sunday—since he did not know all the details of the incident at that time.

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 

I was not there, but left about an hour before this happened. The guy who tried to get help is a friend of ours and the other two we met that night. I cannot in anyway believe that these guys were thrown out of the bar. And none of them seemed like fighters. In fact quite the opposite. From what I heard, the assailants (four of them) were sitting in their car revving their engine in an obnoxious way. One of the other women in the group turned to the car and said something like “Really!!!” That was the catalyst for the whole thing. Mr. Vogel – apparently the last to leave the bar – inquired “Why is everyone yelling?” At which point he was pummeled by three thugs. The restaurant owner knows well that he could lose his license for refusing to help which is why they are backpedalling. Apparently the EMS worker even witnessed the one perp impersonating a cop (intent on doing more damage).

So if the four guys were in a car, how could anyone have picked a fight with them. It doesn’t matter if the incident was down the street. THe bouncer refused to help and that can get the establishement in a lot of trouble. They should be sued for that.


And Anila please stop.prmoting that book on black violent mobs.We have heard about it already.It all over the news and fox.We all know its blacks committing all the crime like the news tells us.Please go to stormfront.And its sad what happened to the couple.The news lies about everything so we will never know the true story.

I 2 Live in LIC

Wow, such outrage. Sounds like a bunch of Friends, family and employees of Shi jumped on here to defend the cheese ball establishment.
I’m not going to pretend to know what happened. But I do know that this is the type of crowd Shi caters to. Douche bags galore. Like the commenter here that blamed all this on vegetarians. Really what do vegetarians have to do with this. We’ve all met this kind of person a 1000 times before, mostly in this neighborhood.

And just because the Hate crimes unit decided not to take the case it doesn’t mean that the victims are now somehow the assailants.
It likely means there wasn’t evidence to pursue it.
Now that the 108 has it expect absolutely nothing to be done.

Anila Abhay

These are just some of the hundreds of examples of violence and lawlessness in more than 80 cities around the country. There’s this book I have read, just google “White Girl Bleed a Lot” or this site It’s an epidemic of black mob violence.

Jim P.

Clearly an unfortunate incident where this couple seems to have had too much to drink and were asked to leave the restaurant/bar. Based on my knowledge of the area, the closest doorman is half way down the block! So a few drunks get into a fight that proves NOT to be racially motivated and now its the fault of the Restaurant that escorted poorly behaving patrons out of their establishment?? You have to try real hard as a young couple to get booted out of a bar for bad behavior!!! Furthermore, this place is patronized by men and women of all colors, ethnic backgrounds, religious and sexual orientations. Am I to guess that if the “straight” assailant was beaten up instead he would have claimed that the biracial couple with their gay sidekick beat him senseless because he was “straight”. Do we know for a fact that this misbehaving trio (bi-racial couple and their gay sidekick) did not pick a fight with this poor young Greek boy??

Also, Stephanie may be right that this trio is a good bunch. But…alcohol can make nice people do some stupid s**t. Especially if there is video tape showing behavior bad enough to get booted from a bar.

Question: Would this matter is this was a drunk “straight couple”….you know…. a man and a woman…. along with their straight friend Stavros…. that got beat up by a bi-racial gay dude?? huh??? No it wouldn’t. Get the picture??? Shame on you!!! Keep your insecurities and sexuality to yourself. Grow up!!


The couple and their friend said they had been celebrating her 40th birthday all day until the incident outside Shi where they were randomly attacked by Guidos.

I guess they forgot to mentioned getting thrown out for drunk & disruptive behavior.

Did the Guidos call them homophobic and racial slurs? I don’t know, but after viewing the video tape the police dropped the “Hate Crime” charges.

They claim the one Guido (turned Greek) pretended to be a cop. Ummm, did he? Can we believe them? Is he charged with impersonating a police officer? I don’t know.

Did the guidos/Greek call them homophobic and racial slurs? I don’t know that either.

I do know that calling people “GUIDOS” is a racial slur.

Vanessa Garcia.

Stephanie how bout you shutup because nobody really gives a flying f*ck about what you have to say. What is there too many people for you to insult here for saying their opinions? Yeah everybody should read what Stephanie wrote on the queens courier and how she insulted two people for saying their opinions. She called them idiots and said they don’t know their ass from their elbow, so goes to show she’s a rude trouble maker like her “very good” friends.

not stephanie

stephanie, if you are a close personal friend of the victims, can you explain why they claimed on TV and Yelp that Shi would not let them back into the restaurant and refused to call police while the couple was being pummeled? they painted a picture of a restaurant which coldly watched the whole thing unfold and still refused to help.

the couple went out of their way to blame Shi yet now it appears the restaurant did allow them back in and there is more to the story than the couple has let on.

since you are a close personal friend and probably know what happened, please tell us more about the incident itself. who said what to whom, how did it escalate to the point where punches were thrown? at what point was the wife thrown to the ground and what did the doorman see and do?


As a close personal friend, I know these people well and what happened. Shi does not deserve the bad press, the doorman does, for ignoring people in need, which is really all they asked for. Also a fight, involves two or more people hitting each other, not 3 people hitting one person and that other person just protecting himself. Shi is also lying about “throwing” them out, or any unruly behavior as it is their best interest to save their reputation and they have everything to gain from it. These people are walk away people, not instigators and they were walking away.

The EMT union president, who has no vested interest, corroborated their allegations that not only did the restaurant let them in but that the attacker came back and alleged that he was a police officer. So if it smells fishy, start there skeptics. The couple really has nothing to benefit from this, unless you think everyone knowing your business is amazing. I think not. The only people who should feel shame are the people who are judging innocent without any real knowledge of what happened…

For me the real fear and sadness comes from now knowing that something bad can happen to you, and that people can blame you in their own self interest…


I would guess they were mad at Shi for throwing them out in the first place and wanted revenge. Thus, they bad mouthed the place.

Speak the truth

@ Megan : Meaning after they got kicked out of the restaurant, they put themselves into trouble .

what i dont understand is why they lied that SHI refused to help ? and lied that the incident happened in front of SHI ?? if you go to yelp talk and yelp review about SHI , the way the wife said things it felt like all should be SHI’s fault ? smh


If the police dropped the “Hate Crime” charges after viewing the video, I would assume the fight did not start because of racist or homophobic remarks, as previously reported by the couple and their gay friend.

According to Shi, the video tape and eyewitnesses said the couple & their friend lied about where the fight took place, they lied about it being a random attack, and they were drunk and disorderly.

I would not be surprised if the couple are not brought up on charges, and rightly so.

Sonny L.

Shih is the type to help anyone in the neighborhood and is the LAST person to be biased against anyone. He is a supporter of our community. There is nothing to understand.

That said, the attack still sounds racially motivated.


What nerve. That couple and their gay friend should be arrested for making false statements to police, and they should also be sued by the Guido with the Greek name for accusing him of being racist and homophobic.

These people should be ashamed of themselves.

Sounds like after causing trouble, they got their asses kicked, then used their “get out of jail free card” by yelling racist.

Funny thing is, if they didn’t make such a big deal out of it, and stayed the hell away from media, this probably would have gone away. Dumb and Dumber.

Eventually, that tape will probably be posted and we will see how the fight started. That’s when we should call “Shame On You”.


I love how ppl act rowdy, get kick out of restaurants, get into fights then complain that it’s racism and a hate crime.
how about taking resposibility for your own actions
stop making yourself the victim.
you are only setting yourself back more and more years


Some people get into a fight nearby and a bunch of over opinionated locals jump on yelp to badmouth the restaurant. I think Shi deserve a little positive PR after that. Everyone is a caped crusader and protector of lgbt/racial/disabled/vegeterian rights, when its safely done via yelp, it’s even better that it’s done without knowing the full story. Muppets.

Objective Journalism

Pretty hilarious how there have been at least three stories on this site about Shih’s PR hit. Are these articles being penned by Shih Lee himself? Or do his advertising dollars keep this “news” site afloat? Try writing about some real news in the area, for a change. Instead of acting as a PR machine for a few local businesses.


I still don’t understand what this is supposed to mean: “He said that eyewitnesses confirmed the surveillance footage that the the victims were not randomly attacked”


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Crunching the Queens crime numbers: felony assaults across the borough on the rise, burglaries down slightly in northern Queens

Feb. 21, 2024 By Ethan Marshall

The number of felony assaults across Queens increased during the 28-day period from Jan. 22 through Feb. 18, compared to the same period of time last year, according to the latest crime stats released by the NYPD Tuesday. At the same time, the number of reported burglaries experienced a slight but noticeable drop in northern Queens.

Maspeth man faces life in prison for 2020 fatal stabbing in Dutch Kills: DA

A Maspeth man who was caught by transit cops vaping inside a Brooklyn subway station in January is facing as much as 75 years to life in prison for stabbing a Dutch Kills man to death four years ago.

Luis Hernandez, 36, of 56th Street, was arraigned Tuesday in Queens Supreme Court on a seven-count indictment charging him with murder, gang assault and other crimes in the fatal stabbing of a 21-year-old man and the attempted murder of two others in Astoria in 2020.