Authorities have arrested the 43-year-old man they say attacked a well-known journalist in Manhattan on Jan. 17.
Police arrested 24-year-old Leighton Jennings for second-degree assault late Tuesday night, the New York Daily News reports. Award-winning journalist Randy Gener, 46, was brutally attacked in Midtown Manhattan as he walked home on Jan. 17. He had just left a party close to around 4 a.m. when he encountered his attackers, who beat him and left him unconscious and bleeding on the street.
After news of the incident broke, many were concerned that the attack against Gener -- who is openly gay -- may have been a hate crime. But according to a police source, investigators haven’t found any evidence that it was a bias attack. The source added that the fight appeared to have been caused by a verbal altercation that occurred after Gener and a female friend of Jennings bumped into each other on the street, the Daily News says.
WABC reports that Gener, who is married to Stephen Nesbit, suffered severe head trauma from the attack. He underwent brain surgery at St. Luke’s Hospital and remains in critical condition.
Gener's work has appeared in several major publications, including the New York Times and the New York Daily News.
Jennings’ mother Ellen Wilson says she is surprised that her son was named a suspect in the attack on Gener. "From the depths of my heart, I didn't know. I knew nothing," the woman said. "I would never think something like that of him. ... He's very loving. He's very caring. He's very mannered,” she told the Daily News.
According to Wilson, her son moved back into her home last week following a short time living with his girlfriend.