New York City Police are searching for a man who allegedly punched two teenagers in the face on the New York City subway before turning his rage on a woman who tried to intervene in the anti-gay attack.
The incident took place on Saturday, July 31, on the Queens-bound E train, around 3:30 a.m. when a man approached two 19-year-old victims and began making anti-gay statements and derogatory comments about them. He then punched one teen in the face multiple times, and, as the train pulled into Court Square station, began punching the second victim in the face.
A 32-year-old woman acting as a Good Samaritan tried to intervene on the teen’s behalf, but was sucker-punched by the man as the train took off. All three victims then exited the train at the Queens Plaza subway station, while the suspect remained on the train, reports the Sunnyside Post.
All three victims suffered minor facial injuries in the attacks, with the woman also suffering a fractured tooth. However, all three refused medical attention, according to NBC New York.
Police have released images of the suspect, who was seen outside a bar located at 795 8th Avenue just prior to the attack. He is described as black and in his 30s, about 5’8,” weighing around 160 pounds, and wearing a black baseball cap with different logos, gray jeans, and a navy and blue top.
Given the suspect’s anti-gay remarks, the NYPD Hate Crime Task Force is investigating the incident.
Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to contact NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).
There have been several high-profile crimes in New York City involving LGBTQ victims in recent months, particularly following the lifting of social distancing restrictions imposed amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last month, a 29-year-old doctor had to have his jaw wired shut after being attacked while walking home from the subway by a man who called him a homophobic slur.
In June, a transgender woman was stabbed with a screwdriver while riding the subway. That same month, a 29-year-old man was also stabbed on the subway after being accosted by a man yelling anti-gay slurs, and another man yelling anti-gay slurs stabbed a 20-year-old who attempted to intervene after seeing the assailant harassing women at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal.
In May, the city was rocked by several dozen violent attacks that took place on New York City’s subway and bus system, in which attackers directed anti-gay slurs at their victims, including one incident where a subway rider was stabbed with an ice pick. That same month, two unknown suspects assaulted and hurled anti-LGBTQ slurs at three men in Brooklyn, resulting in one of the victims losing consciousness. In April, another man in Manhattan punched a gay man in the head while going on an anti-gay rant.
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