News » Crime

Vandal Terrorizing NYC Gay Bars Is Apprehended - Personal Revenge Cited as Motive

Tuesday November 22, 2022

The man identified as Sean Kuilan
The man identified as Sean Kuilan  

The brick-throwing vandal who has been terrorizing gay bars in NYC's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood was apprehended on Tuesday, Gothamist reports.

"Sean Kuilan, a 34-year-old Hell's Kitchen resident, was taken into custody Tuesday on charges of criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, and criminal possession of a weapon, the NYPD said. Police said that Kuilan threw a brick or a rock at the window of VERS, a gay bar on 9th Avenue, on three separate occasions since last Sunday."

The New York Post reports that Kuilan allegedly told cops he was just "exacting revenge" on behalf of a gal pal feuding with the club.

"Basically, what he says [is] he knows a girl who had a problem with one of the guys in the bar and he was 'exacting revenge,'" NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig. "As of right now we don't have any reason to believe it is [a hate crime]."

Kuilan is being charged with only three of four recent attacks at the bar because cops don't have video surveillance of one of the incidents, Essig said.

Asked why he threw the bricks, he answered, "Something personal," the Post adds

The suspect, who is nicknamed "Paper Kid," is known in the neighborhood and was tracked down thanks to tips to the NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline, the chief added.

Kuilan was arrested by the department's warrant squad, and was also sought on a warrant in a menacing case from Sept. 2, 2021, the chief said.

His most recent attack came this past Saturday night around 10 p.m. Security footage showed an individual approaching the bar, throwing a heavy rock in full view of several pedestrians, then casually walking off, the NYPD said.

Attempts by The Gothamist to speak to Kuilan's lawyers were not successful.

David DeParolesa, the VERS owner, said he believed his bar may have been targeted by an anti-gay perpetrator. But he told Gothamist on Sunday that police were "dismissive" of the suggestion — urging him against reporting it as a hate crime.

He posted a statement on Instagram. "As members of the LGBTQ community, we often have to create our own safe spaces; that's why we created VERS, and why we remain open for business as usual," the statement said. "We have, and always will be, undeterred and unflinchingly focused on providing our patrons, our peers and our community at large with a fun, welcoming safe space."

City Councilmember Erik Bottcher, who represents the neighborhood and is gay, described the attacks as disturbing, drawing a link to the mass shooting at an LGBTQ club in Colorado over the weekend.

"What we're seeing in New York City and around the country is a direct result of the hateful rhetoric on the internet and cable television," he said. "You've got someone clearly targeting this establishment repeatedly with the intention of striking fear into our community."