When Rosevony Duroseau turned 47 last year, her brother and sister-in-law threw a small surprise party to celebrate.
Dr. Yves Duroseau, chairman of the department of emergency medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, and his designer wife Claude hosted about 15 guests for a nine-course meal on September 17, 2022 – a Saturday evening – in the garden of their gracious Forest Hills home. The occasion was particularly happy for Rosevony, who had recently gotten engaged.
Yves, who was the first doctor in the US to receive the COVID vaccine in 2020, and Rosevony, a US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) asylum officer based in Washington, DC, are all of Haitian descent Guests at the gathering were black or Latino. Among them were Rosevony’s friends from Fordham Law School, where she earned her JD, lawyers from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration, two bank executives and at least one New Jersey public school administrator and a public defender , high-profile music industry musician Rigo Morales, co-founder of the Recording Academy’s Black Music Collective, and Rosevony’s fiancé, co-founder and CEO of a cybersecurity risk management consulting firm. Food was provided by chef Vanessa Cantave, winner of the 2011 Bravo cooking competition show, Rocco’s Dinner Party.
But as things neared a conclusion, an unknown white woman showed up with a “large, menacing German Shepherd” and “demanded that the music in the backyard be turned down,” according to a stunning civil lawsuit obtained by The Daily Beast.
Dr. Yves Duroseau, the party’s host, was the first doctor in the US to receive the COVID vaccine.
When the “efforts to silence the plaintiffs and end their celebration” apparently did not occur quickly enough, the party ended “abruptly and violently” when a white neighbor grabbed his backyard hose and began hosing down the guests to get them to join in “The scene is reminiscent of Birmingham, Alabama, in the 1960s, when white police officers used fire hoses to douse, attack and beat African Americans participating in civil rights demonstrations, to make them comply and disband,” the lawsuit states.
The neighbor, a married father of two identified in court documents as 48-year-old Marcus Rosebrock, is said to have repeatedly pointed his hose at the guests, continually increasing the water pressure until they were not only drenched, but also soaked were thoroughly humiliated.
Mina Q. Malik, who along with co-counsel Derek Sells is representing the Duroseaus and the other dinner party attendees, told The Daily Beast that she happened to be in Alabama when the case came to her office.
“I was appalled and outraged to see water hoses and German shepherds being used against people of color in New York City in 2022,” said Malik, a 2019 candidate for Queens district attorney. “I was in complete disbelief.”
Dinner party guest Rigo Morales (left) and singer John Legend pictured at the 2022 Grammy Awards.
According to Malik, everyone who attended the party was “deeply scarred” by the experience. Host, Guests and caterers “feel degraded and humiliated and made to feel like they are no longer human.”
The Duroseaus’ lawsuit alleges, among other things, that Rosebrock violated their civil rights under Title 8 of the New York City Administrative Code by claiming he interfered with their “right… to own real property within the City of New York,” County of Queens.” The couple has not held a backyard event since the incident and have essentially become, in Malik’s words, “prisoners in their own home.”
Yves and Claude Duroseau, along with all 15 guests, the caterer and their sous chef, are now seeking unspecified financial damages from Rosebrock for the mental anguish and emotional distress he and the dog named in the complaint allegedly suffered have “Jane Doe,” she caused.
“Plaintiffs are unable to use their property for peaceful assembly and are left humiliated, fearful, embarrassed and degraded. They demand justice for the assault, battery and civil rights violations,” the lawsuit states.
Vanessa Cantave (second from left), who hosted the Duroseaus’ dinner party, won season 11 of the Bravo cooking competition Rocco’s Dinner Party.
Andrei Jackamets/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty
Rosebrock, a German citizen, has not yet filed a response to the Duroseaus’ complaint, and his version of events remains unmentioned in the narrative. On Sunday, his attorney, Brandon Gillard, told The Daily Beast that his client’s story will eventually come to light in court.
“Mr. Rosebrock denies all allegations in the complaint and rejects any characterization that he is racist [that] his actions were racially motivated,” Gillard said.
The surreal turn of events in the Duroseau household began around 9:50 p.m., when dinner was over and the catering team began cleaning up. According to the complaint, during this time, Jane Do and her dog appeared in the foyer of the Duroseaus’ home.
Cantave and her assistant, Shani Porter, were the first to interact with Doe, and the complaint states that the two immediately became afraid of the “aggressive” German Shepherd. Yves Duroseau went in to see what was going on, and after Doe again insisted that the music be turned down, he politely informed her that they were celebrating a birthday, that it would soon be over, and asked her to come , to leave his property, the complaint states.
When Yves returned to his guests, Rosebrock exited his $1.9 million estate, which adjoins the Duroseau home, and pointed the hose at them, the lawsuit says. The water pressure “was extremely strong and piercing,” the lawsuit says. Yves and two others fled to his son’s tree house, where they tried to talk to Rosebrock over the fence.
But instead of backing down, Rosebrock “doubled down,” the complaint says. It is said that he “looked directly [the three men]He pointed his water hose at them with increased water pressure, and violent water sprayed into their faces and bodies, drenching them and putting them in fear of grievous bodily harm as they feared they would be thrown to the ground from the treehouse.”
Rosebrock then turned his hose back on the rest of the group and drenched them again, the story goes. One guest tried in vain to “talk calmly” to Rosebrock to see if she could convince him to stop, but instead he “turned on his water hose.” [her] at high intensity and brutally sprayed her with water from head to toe,” the complaint states.
Despite ruining the party, Rosebrock wasn’t done yet and ended the shocking episode by hosing down the caterer’s assistant while she was clearing the plates, the complaint says.
The Duroseaus called 911 to report the incident, and two NYPD officers showed up to take the report, Sells, chairman of The Cochran Firm, told The Daily Beast.
“There has been no follow-up since then, although this incident should be investigated and treated as a hate crime,” he said.
Rosebrock still lives next door, but the Duroseaus “have not had any significant interaction with him since the incident,” Sells said.
“We don’t like to generalize or condemn the state of our society based on the terrible actions of two individuals,” Sells said. “All we want is to bring justice to our clients who are innocent victims of evil people.”