Ryan Lee

Ryan Lee: ‘Frosted Blake’s’ and coded racism

A Supreme Court victory provides a boost to any birthday plans, as I found out when the same-sex marriage ruling kicked off the weekend of my 35th. The last weekend in June wound up being an enchanting blur ...
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Coverage of the week

Pure Heat Community Festival, State of Black Gay America, Blake's robbers and more...

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Victims help catch suspects who robbed them after leaving Blake’s

MugshotTwo men who were robbed at gunpoint Tuesday night after leaving Blake's on the Park helped police catch their alleged assailants.

Fabian Gutierrez and Michael Davis were robbed at the corner off 10th Street and Charles Allen Drive as they walked to Gutierrez' apartment from Blake's on the Park, according to an Atlanta Police Department report.

The men had seen a white mini-van pass them moments before. They saw two men get out of the van – one in a white shirt, one in a black shirt — then split up. Then the two suspects approached them. The man in the black shirt put a handgun to Gutierrez' head as they searched both victims' pockets and stole Gutierrez' iPhone.

"The suspects then took off south toward 8th Street as Gutierrez followed," the police report stated.

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Wednesday ‘American Greed’ episode focuses on Lee Farkas, gay mortgage insider with Atlanta ties

Lee Farkas

Lee Farkas, a gay man who once had ties to one of Atlanta's most popular gay bars, will be the subject of a documentary in the "American Greed" series that airs tomorrow night on CNBC.

Titled "Financial Home Invasion," the episode debuts at 10 p.m. on Wednesday, July 11. Other upcoming showings include 1 a.m. on Thursday, July 12; 10 p.m. on Sunday, July 15; and 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. on Monday, July 16, according to TVGuide.com.

Lee Farkas was found guilty in April 2011 of being the mastermind of a $2.9 billion fraud trial that officials said was "one of the largest bank frauds in history."

The Justice Department's criminal division chief, Lanny Breuer, said Farkas's actions "poured fuel on the fire of the financial crisis," according to a report by the Associated Press.

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Atlanta police release reports in Blake’s fight

Vance Johnson and Derrick Leggrant face charges of simple battery and felony obstruction after fighting Jan. 21 with an off-duty police officer at the gay bar Blake's on the Park, according to police reports released this evening.

Both men were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the altercation, which apparently stemmed from them trying to cut the bathroom line, police reports state.

Police leaders said yesterday that they want to investigate any allegations of police misconduct stemming from the incident. But they noted that the only criticism thus far has come from one individual who wanted to remain anonymous and had not filed an official complaint.

Meanwhile, multiple Blake's employees and patrons praised police handling of the unruly patrons who are described as "belligerent" in witness statements included with the police reports.

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Atlanta City Council member asks LGBT community to delay accusing APD of abuse until facts gathered


Atlanta City Council member Alex Wan said at Monday's Atlanta Police LGBT Advisory Board meeting that as a community, LGBT people should not jump to a snap judgment about the Atlanta Police Department until all facts are gathered about arrests made at Blake's on the Park on Friday night.

Wan, the sole openly gay member of the council, represents District 6, including Blake's and Midtown. He said Monday that he became involved in the now open investigation into police conduct at the gay Midtown bar on Jan. 20 after police were called to the scene to help with a fight that broke out between patrons and staff.

"Within a half hour … I got responses from both the major [Major Chris Leighty, Zone 5 commander that includes Blake's] and from the city attorney," he said.