Gay bar owner beaten up in hate crime

Rocco Wort
Rocco Wort, owner of a gay bar in Haarlem, was beaten up at closing time (photo: Politie)Rocco Wort, owner of a gay bar in Haarlem, was beaten up at closing time (photo: Politie)

The co-owner of a gay bar was beaten up by a man shouting slurs at him Monday night as he closed his cafe. Rocco Wort, 22, told police the man screamed “filthy cancerous fag,” and “fuck off,” before punching Wort in the face.

Police are holding a 51-year-old man from Haarlem in custody. He was still being questioned about the suspected hate crime late Tuesday morning.

The incident happened at about 5 a.m. Tuesday morning outside Wilsons by R&R, on a quiet street in Haarlem, Noord Holland. Initially, he thought it was a newspaper deliveryman he was friendly with, the victim told broadcaster RTV NH.

After he said hello to the man he thought was his friend, the offender attacked, flattening Wort on the pavement.

Wort says he staggered to his feet before being punched again. “Then I took off running, but he was doggedly chasing me,” Wort said. “I don’t think he was finished with me.”

He outran his assailant and arrived safely in his house. After telling his boyfriend the story, they called police.

Wort and his boyfriend took over the cafe in August when it fell into bankruptcy. “My boyfriend and I have worked so hard recently to keep the bar open, then this happens.

But, he said, “I’ll be back in the cafe later.”