New York City police are seeking a man who punched a woman in the face for holding hands with her girlfriend.
On Sunday, police released video camera footage of the assault, which allegedly took place around 10:00 p.m. on Sept. 15 in NYC's East Village, AM New York Metro reports.
Sources familiar with the investigation said the victim, a 21-year-old woman, and her girlfriend were walking near the corner of E. 14th Street and 3rd Avenue when the perpetrator began shouting anti-gay statements at her.
As the victim passed by the attacker, he continued to make hateful remarks before punching her in the face.
After the assault, he ran off in an unknown direction, authorities said. The victim, who refused medical treatment, wasn't seriously injured in the attack.
Police have urged anyone with information on the attack to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, online, or via Twitter @NYPDTips.
🚨WANTED for ASSAULT: On 9/15/21 at approx. 9:55PM, vicinity if E 14 St & 3 Ave @NYPD13PCT Manhattan. The suspect punched a 21 Y/O female victim's face while making anti-gay slurs. Any info call or DM NYPDTips at 800-577-TIPS. Reward up to $3,500. pic.twitter.com/rYvTCjXHxW
— NYPD Crime Stoppers (@NYPDTips) October 10, 2021
According to NYPD statistics, there were 72 recorded hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation in the city from the start of the year to Sept. 30 — marking a 260% increase from the 20 hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation that occurred during the same time period last year.
As New York City loosened COVID-19 restrictions over the spring and summer, a number of anti-LGBTQ crimes occurred, including one on New York City's subway in which two 19-year-old men and a Good Samaritan were punched after the men were called anti-gay slurs.
In other incidents, a man was stabbed with an ice pick while riding the subway, and a straight man was stabbed and called anti-gay slurs after he attempted to stop a man from harassing women at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal.
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