NYPD investigating East Village assault as a hate crime

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By Dan Sears

Police are looking for two suspects who used anti-gay slurs and assaulted two 23-year-old men near Union Square Park in June.

According to information just released this week by the NYPD, the two victims were sitting on a bench at East 13th Street and Broadway around 8 p.m. on June 28th when two unidentified individuals approached them and began a verbal dispute.

Police officials said the suspects used an anti-gay slur and then followed one of the victims as he tried to move away.

A physical altercation ensued, and cops reported that the victims were punched in the head and shoved in the chest. They were not badly injured and refused medical attention at the scene.

The suspects fled north on Broadway, towards East 14th Street. They appear to be light-skinned and in their teens, according to surveillance images provided by the NYPD.

The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating, and police are asking for the public’s help to track the perpetrators down.

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Information about this incident comes as the city is reeling from another anti-LGBTQ hate crime: the murder of O’Shae Sibley, a 28-year-old man who was dancing at a Brooklyn gas station with friends when another group made anti-LGBTQ remarks and demanded the men stop dancing. Sibley was fatally stabbed in the altercation that followed and Dmitriy Popov, a 17-year-old Brooklyn resident, was arrested and charged with murder.

This is a developing story.

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