A 22-year-old man was charged with murdering an older man in New York Monday, and officials are calling it a hate crime.
Steven Torres is accused of stabbing Ever Orozco, 69, to death in broad daylight after the older man was “blowing kisses to him,” a source told the New York Daily News. Orozco, identified by some sources as Edward, had been dropping a woman off at a doctor’s appointment prior to the attack. Torres is charged with murder as a hate crime because he perceived Orozco to be gay, in addition to a charge of criminal possession of a weapon.
"I really don't know what to think," Julio Lobaton, a witness, told TV station WABC. "I'm just shaken because what happened to this poor guy. ... He was screaming, 'Help me help me.' I tried to intervene, but then [the assailant] pulled a knife and started stabbing the guy on the floor."
The stabbing occurred at a subway station on 90th Street in the Elmhurst section of Queens at 1:30 p.m. Monday. Witnesses chased Torres before police caught him six blocks from the station. Lobatan said Torres was laughing as authorities cuffed him.
"He was laughing, yes," the witness said. "He was laughing like nothing."
Torres is also accused of stabbing a man on the Lower East Side of Manhattan last Thursday because he thought the man was coming on to him. The 49-year-old victim survived the attack, and Torres is charged with assault and criminal possession of a weapon in connection with this incident, reports the New York Post.
This is one of several ant-LGBT hate crimes to be reported this year in New York. Mark Carson, a gay man, was shot to death in May, and Islan Nettles, a transgender woman, died after a brutal beating in August.