Metro Weekly

New York City Police seeking man who punched bus rider because he thought teen was gay

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called on New York's Hate Crimes Task Force to investigate alleged bias-motivated attack

new york, bus, gay, teen, punch
The bus rider suspected of punching a teenager in an alleged hate crime – Photo: NYPD Crime Stoppers.

The New York Police Department has released surveillance video of a suspect who allegedly harassed, and later attacked, a teenager on a Manhattan bus last month because he thought the youth was gay.

The incident occurred on Nov. 23 on the M23 bus traveling near West 23rd Street and 6th Avenue, in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood. The man approached the 19-year-old bus rider, who later said he did not know the man, and began verbally harassing him.

“You have long hair,” the man, who, ironically, is pictured with a “man bun,” told the teen. “I don’t like people like you.”

He added: “I hate gay people,” according to the New York Post

When the teen exited the bus, the man followed him and punched him in the face and back of the head. The man then jumped back on the bus and rode off, according to radio station 1010WINS.

The teen’s head was bruised in the blitz attack, but he refused medical attention at the scene.

Police are now seeking the assailant, who is shown in the video wearing a royal blue shirt with a red-and-white collar, jeans, a dark-colored jacket, and who has longer brown hair pulled back into an untidy “man bun.” The man appears to be at least in his 40s, though it is hard to identify someone’s age from just looking at their face.

See also: D.C. Council passes hate crimes omnibus bill, banning gay and trans “panic” defense

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has since directed New York’s Hate Crimes Task Force to investigate the attack, calling it “downright disturbing.”

“This violent attack, which targeted a teenager as they were exiting the bus, is repugnant to everything we stand for in New York, and I am directing the New York State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to immediately offer assistance investigating this cowardly act,” Cuomo said. “Make no mistake: we do not tolerate bias attacks in the Empire State, and we will always defend New Yorkers who are targeted for being who they are.”

Anyone with information about the incident in question is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.

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