A gay couple in Manhattan believes they were targeted in a violent hate crime that occurred in Times Square just nine days ago.
The couple — who spoke to news media on the condition of anonymity for fear of backlash — claim they were walking through the busy tourist spot on Saturday, April 8, when strangers attacked them.
On the night in question, just before 10:30 p.m., the couple was leisurely walking through Midtown Manhattan when strangers zoomed in on them, with at least four suspects walking up to confront them.
“They come up to us and they’re like, ‘you need to move.’ They’re like, ‘You need to move.’ They start pushing us,” one of the victims told Fox 5 New York.
The couple then say the suspects began beating them, hurling profanity-laden insults and remarks about their sexual orientation during the attack.
Both were injured in the assault and sent to Mount Sinai Hospital.
One of the men needed to have a metal plate put into his fractured jaw.
The couple says Times Square was full of people when the attack occurred, but no one intervened to stop the assault.
The New York Police Department confirmed to Fox News that the investigation remains ongoing, although no arrests have been made yet in the case. As of Monday, the assault had not yet been classified as a hate or bias-motivated crime.
“The subject fled the location to parts unknown. The victims were transported to Mount Sinai Hospital in stable condition. There are no arrests and the investigation remains ongoing,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
A separate NYPD source told Fox 5 New York that whether the attack will be investigated as a hate crime will be determined as the investigation proceeds.
It also comes at a time when LGBTQ people are being increasingly scapegoated nationally and accused of “grooming” or seeking to abuse children, resulting in threats of violence or demonstrations of anti-LGBTQ animus.
Most recently, a New York man was stabbed in the leg in what appears to be hate crime after he defended himself against verbal harassment from a group of young men, who then escalated the situation by resorting to violence. The suspects, who fled on foot, allegedly yelled anti-gay epithets at him during the attack.
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