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Gay Couple Attacked in NYC’s Times Square as Crowd Watched

Gay Couple Attacked in NYC’s Times Square as Crowd Watched

Times Square

It's not the first time LGBTQ+ have been attacked recently in the city.

A gay couple in New York City says they were attacked earlier this month by four men hurling anti-gay slurs while a crowd watched and did nothing to help.

The attack left one of the men with a fractured jaw that required surgery to repair, and both men have been left frightened and concerned for their safety.

The two unidentified men told local Fox affiliate WNYW they were strolling through a crowded Times Square holding hands around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 8, when they said they were approached by “at least four different people” who started to harass them because they were gay.

“They come up to us and they’re like, ‘You need to move,’” one of the men recalled for WNEW, fighting back tears. “They’re like, ‘You need to move.’ And then they start pushing us, and we’re like ‘What are you talking about?’”

The couple said the men attacked using antigay slurs. They tried to fight back, and one started using his cell phone to record the attack. Despite the large crowd in Times Square, the couple said nobody tried to help them. The assault has left the two men fearful, and they requested anonymity from the media to prevent retribution from their attackers. They asked police to investigate the attack as a hate crime.

A spokesperson for the NYPD confirmed the attack and said an investigation is underway.

“The subject fled the location to parts unknown,” the NYPD said in a statement. “The victims were transported to Mount Sinai Hospital in stable condition. There are no arrests and the investigation remains ongoing.”

The attack in Times Square was only the most recent in a string of incidents targeting the gay community.

Rafael Ribot, 44, was beaten and stabbed by a group of people yelling anti-gay slurs on the evening of Wednesday, April 5. He said two strangers stopped the attack and saved his life by applying a tourniquet to what he described as “a large, four-inch deep puncture wound” to his leg.

“I’m enraged by reports of an anti-LGBTQ attack in Hell’s Kitchen,” out City Councilperson Erik Bottcher said on social media following the attack.

Last month, a grand jury in Manhattan indicted multiple suspects in connection to the deaths of two gay men who were drugged, robbed, and killed last year. The body of Julio Ramirez, 25, was found in the back of a taxi after he left the Ritz Bar and Lounge with some men on April 20, 2022. The social worker’s family said about $20,000 dollars had been taken from his bank accounts. Robert Umberger, 33, a political consultant, was killed about a month later after he and a couple of men left the Q, a gay bar in Hell’s Kitchen. Both men died from “acute intoxication by the combined effects of fentanyl, p-fluorofentanyl, heroin, cocaine, lidocaine, and ethanol.” Both men also had their bank accounts emptied of about $20,000.

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