This year’s disturbing streak of hate crimes continues: Police say a group yelling anti-gay slurs attacked two men holding hands in Chelsea on Wednesday morning. The men had just left the Chelsea Cinemas on 23rd Street at around 1 a.m., and were walking near Ninth Avenue and 24th Street when two other men stopped them and, according to NBC New York, one said “what are you looking at, you f——” (the dashes are NBC’s but they correspond to the word “faggots”). The two that stopped the hand-holding pair then started punching them, “while hurling anti-gay slurs,” before four more men, apparently the attackers’ friends, arrived and joined in. Both victims, ages 27 and 53, received cuts to the face and the younger one got seven stitches, DNAinfo reports.
The attacks follow a rough summer for anti-gay violence in New York. Last May, Elliot Morales allegedly shot and killed Mark Carson in the West Village after allegedly called him and his companion “faggot” and “queer.” A spate of attacks followed, including against gay-rights activist Eugene Lovendusky. Before the end of May, the city had recorded 24 anti-gay attacks, up from 14 in 2012.