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Members of a close-harmony group from Yale University are recovering after being ambushed and beaten up while on tour in California.
Members of the a cappella Baker's Dozen were performing at a party in San Francisco at the new year when their rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner" apparently sparked taunts and threats from fellow partygoers.
As the group left the house, they were attacked by dozens of assailants, suffering scrapes, black eyes and concussions, said Connecticut's News Channel 8.
OK, I'll admit it actually sounds kind of funny at first. And I was about to accuse the Whiffenpoofs of ordering a hit on their competition (barbershop battle! choir cage match!), but the actual story is much grimmer than that. It looks like the Baker's Dozen were the victims of some frighteningly well orchestrated gay bashing -- instigated by other children of privilege -- according to the SF Chronicle:
As Rapagnani tells it, his 19-year-old daughter was hosting a New Year's Eve party at the family's Richmond District home for the Baker's Dozen, who were in town as part of a West Coast tour.
The 16 singers showed up late to the party wearing preppy sport jackets and ties, and launched into "The Star-Spangled Banner."
A couple of uninvited guests started mocking them, and allegedly the words "faggot" and "homo" were tossed -- and so were a couple of punches.
The loud noise drew relatives from next door, who promptly ordered the house cleared.
The Yale kids, most of whom were staying with a family a block away, began heading home.
But witnesses said one of the uninvited guests -- who happens to be the son of a prominent Pacific Heights family -- pulled out his cell phone and said, "I'm 20 deep. My boys are coming."
According to Rapagnani and others, the Yale kids barely made it around the corner when they were intercepted by a van full of young men.
"They were surrounded, then tripped -- and when they were on the ground, they were kicked," Rapagnani said.
According to police reports, the cops arrived about 12:40 a.m. to find 20 people fighting in the street.
To the police, who were out in force to keep a lid on New Year's, it looked like just another drunken brawl.
But according to Rapagnani, "This was not a fight -- it was an attack."
Four of the alleged assailants were detained at the scene, then released after the cops took their names.
Meanwhile, Sharyar Aziz Jr. was taken by paramedics to San Francisco General Hospital, and later had to undergo reconstructive surgery in New York for a broken jaw that will remain wired shut for eight weeks.
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