While police search for a man suspected of attacking a theater journalist on January 17, the victim's family and friends held a vigil at the Philippine Consulate to pray for his recovery. Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.
Stephen Nisbet calls Randy Gener his everything. They've been together for almost two decades.
"Please Lord Jesus, heal my friend, heal my partner, heal my husband and bring him back to all of us,” said Nisbet.
But two Thursdays ago, detectives say a man who looks like sketch in the above video punched Gener in the face and knocked him to the street. The 47-year-old suffered severe head trauma.
Gener was coming home from a theater party. It was early in the morning across the street from his apartment near 54th Street and 7th Avenue. His attacker did not rob him.
“He had all of his possessions,” said Nisbet.
The hate crimes unit is investigating the case as a possible bias crime against the openly gay man of Filipino descent.
Investigators believe the suspect took off in a gray four-door Nissan with a Mississippi license plate of KAT397.
Gener's friends and family held a vigil Monday night at the Philippine Consulate in his honor.
"He's been the rock of our family since our mother passed away so it's difficult to see him not be able to be that rock," said Jessica Blair-Driessler, Gener’s sister.
Gener is an actor, poet, and theater reporter. He is active in the Filipino community. His supporters came to pray and get the latest on his recovery. Doctors operated on his brain for four hours on Friday.
"Tonight for the first time he was able to turn over and I was able to give him a good massage and he went to sleep so I thank you for that because I truly believe he is being healed by this prayer force coming into his body,” said Nisbet.
The family has not said if Gener regained consciousness yet, but police had said he was unable to help with the investigation because of his condition.
Anyone with information on the case should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.