Hate crime detectives are investigating a Brooklyn robbery in which two men were brutally attacked with a glass bottle and a screwdriver in an apparent anti-gay attack on Saturday.
According to reports, two violent crooks assaulted men at a bodega and hurled anti-gay slurs at them. One of them even called a victim "f----t". The incident occurred at around 2:10 a.m. inside a bodega in the vicinity of Broadway and Weirfield Street in Bushwick, according to PIX11 News.
Verbal Dispute Turns Violent
Law enforcement sources said the two black men confronted two male victims, ages 36 and 28, as they attempted to buy food at the location.
The confrontation led to a dispute that culminated into a violent brawl, cops said, when the suspects struck the victims with a glass bottle and a screwdriver. The crooks then began mouthing off, calling one of the victims, who identifies as gay, a 'f----t,' reported AM New York Metro.
Fleeing with Phones and Cash
Amid the beatdown, authorities said, the suspects removed the victim's iPhone and cash. They then took off from the scene in an unknown direction, according to the newspaper.
One of the victims suffered a puncture wound to his chin and a cut on his lips. His friend was cut on his right hand and shoulder, according to New York Daily News. Both the victims were transported to a nearby hospital in stable condition.
Rise in Hate Crimes in NYC
The incident is being investigated by the NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force. Police released a surveillance image of the perpetrators Sunday and asked the public's help identifying them and tracking them down.
This is the latest in a wave of hate crime that has rocked New York City this year. There have been 364 recorded hate crimes in the Big Apple in the year to August 29, according to NYPD statistics.
That is a shocking 97.8 percent increase on the 184 recorded in the same period last year, reported the Daily Mail.
Social Media Reactions
Netizens described this incident as terrific and said the perpetrators should be put in cages for life. One social media user said, "In the middle of a supposed queer friendly neighborhood in NYC, this type of hate is occurring. Absolutely horrendous. Anti-gay and trans violence must be a part of any cure violence efforts in our city." Another wrote, "Nothing will be done to them. You're not allowed to hurt criminals' feelings."
Some netizens painted the story with a racial color. One user twitted, "Why am not surprised? Same people doing the same thing SUBHUMANS." Another shared, "Remember when the #LGBT people would March with the #blm but deep down inside they knew most of the hate crime was from a certain group. It's just the facts in the data."