2 charged in suspected 'Top Chef' anti-gay attack
EmptySEA CLIFF, N.Y. -- Two women have been charged in the case of a former contestant on Bravo's "Top Chef" who said she was beaten by attackers yelling anti-gay slurs over Labor Day weekend.
Nassau County police announced the arrests on Saturday after Josie Smith-Malave, who was featured on the second season of the reality show, had accused investigators last week of not pursuing her case vigorously.
Smith-Malave, who is openly lesbian, said she and three other women were assaulted by about a dozen people after being told to leave a Sea Cliff bar on Sept. 1, according to police. The attackers yelled slurs about the women's perceived sexual orientation, spat on them and hit them, police said.
Melissa Trimarchi, 21, was charged with misdemeanor assault, police said. She was released on an appearance ticket until a Nov. 30 court date. No working telephone number could be found for Trimarchi at the Sea Cliff address police gave, and they didn't know whether she had an attorney.
Elizabeth Borroughs, 20, was charged with aggravated harassment, also a misdemeanor. She also was released on an appearance ticket and is due in court on Friday. A woman who identified herself as Borroughs at the Glen Cove address police gave said Saturday that she didn't know about the case. Police were unsure whether she had a lawyer.
A homeless man, Matthew W. Walli, 20, was accused of stealing a victim's video camera during the attack. He was arrested in September on a charge of robbery as a bias crime. His lawyer's name and the status of his court case were not immediately available on Sunday.
Smith-Malave's lawyer, Yetta Kurland, rapped the investigation Friday, saying police hadn't gone after all suspects vigorously and had failed "to treat the vicious attack ... as the violent hate crime that it was."
Kurland didn't immediately respond to a telephone message left at her office late Saturday.
Smith-Malave, a 32-year-old Miami native, is a former sous-chef for the Marlow and Sons restaurant in Brooklyn. She has played for the New York Sharks of the Independent Women's Football League.