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Gay Vigil Turns Violent

A vigil to honor the gay Wyoming college student who was fatally beaten turned ugly as dozens of protesters clashed with police along New York City's Fifth Avenue. Nearly 100 people were arrested.

Police officers in riot gear and on horseback butted heads with some members of the crowd of between 3,000 and 5,000 people on Monday night.

"I was trampled by a horse ridden by a New York City police officer," said Ruth Finklestein, who was sitting on a sidewalk nursing a swollen ankle.

More than 95 demonstrators were arrested for disorderly conduct and more arrests were expected, Deputy Police Commissioner Patrick Kelleher said.

Organizers of the march did not apply for a city permit, he said, but police had seen fliers and Internet ads about it, and were willing to let it continue had sidewalk marchers not drifted into the streets.

Vince DeMentri of CBS station WCBS in New York reports that organizers of the event expected only a few hundred supporters. By the time the march began, about 4,000 demonstrators had shown up.

The protest came nearly two weeks after Matthew Shepard, 21, was found beaten and tied to a fence outside Laramie, Wyoming. He died on Oct. 12, and two people have been charged with his murder. Police have said robbery was a motive but that Shepard also was singled out because he was gay.

Demonstrators waved signs reading "Where is your rage?" and "Matthew Shepard: Killed by Homophobia." Some carried a coffin on their shoulders.

The rally comes as crime against gays in New York has increased significantly over last year. City crime has fallen overall, but there were 76 gay bias attacks through September, double the number reported through September of last year.

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