A 19-year-old straphanger was exiting an MTA bus in Chelsea just days before Thanksgiving when a man allegedly approached him, spewed anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, and punched him, according to reports.
The long-haired assailant pounced on the victim shortly before 5 p.m. on November 22 on the M23 bus at 23rd Street and Sixth Avenue, according to the NYPD.
“I don’t like people like you,” the accused assailant said, according to the New York Post. “I hate gay people.”
The NYPD noted that the man “verbally harassed” the teenager, but a police spokesperson would not confirm the specific nature of the harassment.
The man then briefly stepped off the bus to punch the teen before jumping back onboard, according to police. The victim suffered pain and bruising as a result of the attack, but refused medical attention.
Authorities are seeking to question the unidentified alleged attacker, who was caught by surveillance video footage during the attack four days before Thanksgiving. The NYPD believes he is between the age of 30 and 40 years of age. Video footage shows him donning a blue collared shirt, a black jacket, and a mask positioned below his face.
Governor Andrew Cuomo denounced the attack on December 22, calling the alleged anti-LGBTQ incident “downright disturbing” and stressing that New Yorkers “deserve answers” about the case.
“This violent attack, which targeted a teenager as they were exiting the bus, is repugnant to everything we stand for in New York, and I am directing the New York State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to immediately offer assistance investigating this cowardly act,” Cuomo said in a written statement.
“Make no mistake: we do not tolerate bias attacks in the Empire State, and we will always defend New Yorkers who are targeted for being who they are,” Cuomo added.
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