New York City police are hoping to identify, and arrest, five men believed to have beaten a man outside a Mexican restaurant in Queens while pelting him with anti-gay slurs.
Detectives released surveillance images of the five suspects, who allegedly jumped the 31-year-old victim outside the Los Chuzos y Algo Mas restaurant on Roosevelt Avenue, near 79th Street, in Jackson Heights.
According to the New York Daily News, the victim was outside the restaurant around 11:50 a.m. on August 27 when the suspects approached and began hurling anti-gay slurs at him and calling him “maricón,” a derogatory term for members of the LGBTQ community.
They then beat the victim, repeatedly punching him, before fleeing the scene on foot.
The victim suffered several cuts and bruises during the attack, and was taken to Elmhurst Hospital before being treated and released.
Members of the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force are investigating the attack. No arrests have been made yet.
Based on the surveillance footage shared online by NYPD Crime Stoppers, one of the suspects has a husky build and was wearing a gray sweatshirt and jeans. The second suspect is thin, wearing a black T-shirt and jeans, with unkempt chin-length hair.
A third suspect was wearing a white “wifebeater” sleeveless T-shirt or undershirt and is muscular, with what looks like a tattoo on his right shoulder. The fourth suspect is skinny, tall, wearing a white sleeveless T-shirt or undershirt, with a mustache, and appears to be wearing a silver watch.
The fifth suspect is husky, wearing a black sleeveless T-shirt or undershirt, a dark-colored necklace or chain, and gray or dark-colored pants, with long shoulder-length hair pulled back and fastened in a low ponytail.
Those with information about the attack or the five men involved are asked to call NYPD Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS or submit a tip online via the Crime Stoppers website.
All calls will be kept confidential, but information leading to an arrest and conviction can earn a reward of up to $3,500, according to a post on X.
WANTED HATE CRIME: On 8/27/23 @ 11:50 AM NYPD 115 Precinct at 79-01 Roosevelt Ave, a victim was approached by above individuals who used anti-LGBT slurs and punched the victim. Any info call us at 800-577-TIPS or on our website https://t.co/TRPPY5zHV2 Reward up to $3,500 pic.twitter.com/hZ3zXVMiRn
— NYPD Crime Stoppers (@NYPDTips) September 8, 2023
Anti-LGBTQ attacks appear to be on the rise in New York City over the past three years. Police recently arrested a man who is accused of groping a woman on the subway and breaking her nose while yelling anti-gay slurs at her after she objected.
A similar incident occurred last December, in which a woman was assaulted and threatened with stabbing at a Manhattan subway station while her attacker yelled an anti-lesbian slur at her.
Last year, a gay investment banker was fatally shot in the chest while riding the subway. In a separate incident that same year, a man threatened and then assaulted a 22-year-old subway rider due to the victim’s perceived sexual orientation.
Other attacks that appear to be fueled by anti-gay animus include one against a doctor who had to have his jaw wired shut after being beaten while his attacker called him an anti-gay slur, the stabbing of a gay man on the subway in June, and the recent beating of a female jogger by a shirtless man last month.
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