Hate Crime in Albany, NY-Black Man Thrown Into BonFire


Police: 18-year-old thrown into bonfire during party



EAST GREENBUSH, N.Y. – A Rensselaer County man is behind bars after allegedly tossing a teen into a fire early Friday morning in a fit of rage.  It happened at an outdoor party in East Greenbush.


Bruce Vroman

Police say it was 23-year-old Bruce Vroman who grabbed 18-year-old Derek George and threw him into the flames.  Friends quickly pulled Derek out, but it wasn’t fast enough.

18-year-old Derek George can barely speak through his pain.  Second and third degree burns cover his leg, back, and half his face.  “It hurts a lot,” he says softly.

Derek was at a party around a bonfire when he says Bruce Vroman, a man he did not know, yelled a racial slur at him.

Derek’s mother, Dorma George, explains, “Out of the blue they’re like, ‘you n***** you need to leave!’ ”

Derek says he tried to stay calm, telling Vroman, “I take that as disrespect.  Just don’t say it, please don’t say it.”

That’s when Derek says Vroman rushed at him.  Derek fought him to the ground, but does not remember being pushed into the fire.  “That’s all I remember is saying, ‘somebody’s gonna get hurt,’ and waking up with my friends holding me, saying ‘you’re all burnt up.’ ”

His mother is calling it a hate crime.

“My son’s face, my son’s body is burnt.  For what?  Being black?  It’s ridiculous,” says George.

George says all of her children have been repeatedly harassed by some in Vroman’s circle of friends, and she says she’s desperate for police intervention.

“It’s like a ball of fire just ready to explode, and I’m trying to stop it before someone gets killed…I don’t want my son to die like this,” she says.

Police say their investigation is not over.  Vroman is charged with first degree assault.  He’s being held in the Rensselaer County Correctional Facility without bail, and has a preliminary hearing set for Tuesday, October 13th.

Derek George is still undergoing outpatient treatment from Albany Medical Center.

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

22 comments on “Hate Crime in Albany, NY-Black Man Thrown Into BonFire

  1. What the over/under on how many “news” stations/sites have this story in heavy rotate? Hell i’ll give 300 to 1 odds that there would be no mention of this guy being a terrorist if he is mentioned at all.

  2. When you all are at these parties listening to these “hip-hop’ songs, are the white people hearing the same thing the black people are hearing? My question is – Does these songs mean the same thing to black people that they mean to white people. I’m curious. Story seems to be missing pieces and sounds too flat out racist, but it makes me wonder what do some of these people have in common besides hip-hop (helping ignorant people – hurt our people). Devil ain’t going to let you focus on Godly things bopping your head. What are “you” all coming together on is my question?

  3. Thank you for bringing this to my attention, and to everyone’s. This slipped past many of us in the Albany area. It appears there was only one news story. It is upsetting that the perpetrator would have only a charge of assault, not attempted murder. I have contacted local organizers here in Albany, including councilwoman (& editor of This Bridge Called my Back) Barbara Smith. I would like the NAACP to weigh in & every any activist who can help us keep this in the limelight and make a strong message of condemnation against this crime. Al Sharpton? Everyone? Anyone? When local awareness fails in Albany we often need outside voices to wake up this town. Please follow #NotMyAlbany on Twitter and spread the word. We need to protest this heinous crime and send a strong message of support to the George family. Please consider this sleepy little upstate city your own, and show your support for the anti-racist work that a few of us are trying to do. Many thanks & love.

  4. oh please. 1 person on this page says the news is the gospel.. everyone else says it doesn’t seem right – get your facts straight – the news will say anytihng to make anything bigger than it truly is.

  5. Peace and not surprised. That area has always been
    kkk area. I am I don’t live in that part of ny anymore.
    The whole state of ny has a problem with hate and
    racism. I don’t see it going away anytime soon.
    Way to many ignorant dumbed down people live in
    that state.

  6. if nothing else the area is highly segregated. Its not KKK territory though, unless you’re referring to the Albany police.

    Although it is CLEARLY a hate crime, there is no way this is going to be an attempted murder case, nor should it be. You can stab someone in the stomach, which is far more likely to be fatal, and not get an attempted murder charge. The vicitim here is being treated “outpatient,” which means the burns aren’t even a little bit life threatening, because Albany Med doesnt have a burn center and therefore he would have been Medivacced elsewhere for treatment if it was serious.

    That being said, New York has one of the most racist judicial systems in the country, and this suspect will probably get a slap on the wrist in the end. And if the trial takes place in Rennsalear county, well he’s got nothing to worry about, the DA, or maybe its the assistant, is f*ckn’ Nazi. There was an assault case where a black woman and a white man assaulted a white woman, the man held the woman down and the black woman slit the other womans throat (she lived). The black lady went to prison for 25 to life, the white man went for nine months (not to mention he’d just gotten out of jail for breaking the same victims arm a year before).

  7. Disclaimer: the more i think of it, the judical system is just straight racist in this country, it’d be tough to pick the “most” racist

  8. Wow! “Rap Music” – a people who won’t stand for something will fall for anything. All that I can say is’ “NEW YORK. Is the money really worth it, people? God Damn! Keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result is…?

  9. Peace and one reason why this guy even thought to
    do this crime is the fact that a vast % of black
    america has become dumbed down via all this
    21st century media madness.It’s a disgrace overall
    to me. Way to many of our people are going out like
    suckers via the tv. It’s a nightmare to see such ignorant
    behavior and some silly minded black people
    laughing and having a good time watching this BS.
    A real twisted ,updated slave mentally if you ask me.

  10. This is just heartbreaking it seriously makes me want to hate white people but my mom raised me better than that. I just pray for that young man and i also pray for the guy who did it because I think it is sooo sad someone could have that much hate for someone whos done nothing to you that you dont even know.

  11. Peace and let me be clear. The whole situtation is a disgrace to this country and for black america to let this
    go down without having a major reaction to it.
    This event is related to the racist crooks and their negrow slave minded helpers who have helped create
    the social conditions for this to even happen.
    While a segment of black america was busy selling,crack,listening to wack,self destructive rap music. Black america was being dumbed down and it’s to the point a vast % of don’t have clue as to how all
    this happen. If anything it seems more and more of
    our people continue to endorse and take part in this
    black ignorance that is alive and well in amerikkka.
    So as we continue go backward in time when it comes
    to racism and oppression in this country.
    Events like these will keep on happening with the
    usual black on black murder being included too.
    A black life in amerikkka these days is not worth much at all.

  12. I am friends with the suspect and the whole story is bullsh*t He was not being called a n*gger none of my boys are racist! He was threatening to shoot my boy saying he was going to get his gun then he got knocked out like he deserved. why else would he wake up in the ambulance you think the flames knocked him out?!? he fell into the fire and my boys dragged him out. dumbasses. If they wanted him dead he would’ve been dead.

  13. So how come it has taken this long for the truth to come out then ?
    Myself and others would like to know.
    How come you or some body get the right story in the media instead of letting all this confusion get started.

  14. The reason why is because ppl didnt realize it was such a big deal in the media. I realized when I saw on facebook “stop hate crime, support Derek George” and this site came up as a related item. When you search for this on facebook you will see where a kid who was there and a mutual friend of the suspect and victim says that he joined the group for one reason. TO GET THE STORY STRAIGHT. He put his post on then left the group. look it up. People did tell the news station that the story was false but they dont listen. and what really matters it what transpires in court which I will update you people when the case is over. The kid obviously wants to sue and is fabricating this story in his favor. it was just a fist fight that went terribly wrong it was a freak accident. it’s unfortunate what happened to Derek but it was not intentional and he was not called a “n*gger”

  15. to all of you who dont know…dereck george has alot of brothers and one of his brothers 3 yrs before this incident slit bruce vromans throught and severly injured him! ask ne who was there he tried to kill bruce, then this kid comes to a party and starts makng jokes on how his “brother slit that kids neck wide open”. keep in mind people told this to bruce and it didnt happen like that he was asked to leave and not by bruce and dereck george tried to get rough! u ask me… none of u were even there. he is lying to try to make this a hate crime!! lier!!

  16. What an excellent website. You guys have done a great job organizing everything and making the navigation easy to browse. How can I subscribe to your RSS feed? If you have one please let us know how to get more great information from your website.

  17. It isn’t a racial if it’s the colored man starting the fight with another race? BS… Everyone is quick to jump in and say oh he’s part of the KKK and all that crap but yet if you look at the story on every freaking news channel it doesn’t say jack crap about the other guys side… and the Police have known about the Pit parties for a very long time.. So why aren’t they there to break them up.. jeeze.. fights happen no matter what color you are but unfortunately they were all drinking and someone got hurt by falling in a fire… People need to learn to just walk away…

  18. This was a hate crime i knew derek for year’s he’s not that type and he should of not went through this and skin is skin god made all of us and where the same inside. so when will this end life to short this is sad the racist stuff needs to stop

  19. Pfft whatever, yeah this sucks. I agree with the majority of the posters on this site. Somthing’s missing. Also, I love how everyone ignors what happens to white kids routinley in Albany, Troy and Schenectady at the hands of black assailants. Fucking Hypocrites.

  20. Peace,I use to work in Albany,so I know how bad or racist some of the black kid’s can be and are. But I also know they did not get like that by themselves. Between home life in the inner cities of Albany and Schenecatady how can somebody expect these black kid’s to be normal. Until they come out with the truth,as to how these areas are real oppressive to black kid’s and black adult’s. The same confusion and arguing will continue.

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