Attack on LGBTQ+ 72-Year-Old Highlights Hate Crime Increase in New York City

Last month a 72-year-old was attacked in the streets of New York City, and the incident has now been labeled an anti-LGBTQ+ hate crime by the NYPD. The incident has been linked to a growing trend of hate crimes in the metropolis.

Rising Hate-Based Crime

On September 15th a 72-year-old New York City resident was badly beaten in Chelsea, a neighborhood of New York. Investigators have since confirmed that the incident was an anti-LGBTQ+ hate crime.

This assault has occurred at a time when LGBTQ+ hate crimes have been on the rise in recent years. According to the FBI’s hate crime statistics for 2020, 20.5% of hate crimes in the US targeted people based on their sexuality.

But of course, sexuality is not the only focus for many of these crimes. The overwhelming basis is race, ethnicity, and ancestry, which make up 64% of hate crimes. Religious bias drove 14% of crimes, and 2.5% were based on gender identity. 

The Attack Itself

The attack has drawn attention to the growing issue of ideologically based hate in New York and the wider U.S. It occurred on West 17th Street in Chelsea, a neighborhood known in New York as a hot spot for the city’s gay community. 

The victim was severely beaten by four assailants, who allegedly shouted homophobic slurs during the attack, according to police investigators. 

Shortly after the attack, the victim was taken to a nearby hospital where he was treated for several serious injuries, including a broken jaw and lacerations on different body parts. The police immediately began an investigation and pursued the assailants, but they weren’t so easy to find. 

Fleeing the Scene

It was reported that the four attackers were seen fleeing the scene and entering a nearby building. Three have since been arrested by the NYPD after an investigation by the NY Hate Crime Task Force. So who were the attackers?

While no names have been released, three of the four assailants are currently in custody as of Monday, October 9th. Photos and descriptions of the suspects have since been publicly released. 

One of the assailants in the investigation has been described as “heavyset” with a “light complexion,” whereas the other three were described as having “medium complexions and slim to medium builds.” Two appear to be African-American, whereas the ethnicity of the others is currently unclear.

All three assailants are teenagers, aged 16, 14, and 13. They have been charged with hate crime assault, gang assault, and criminal possession of a weapon. 

O’Shae Sibley

Recently another prominent LGBTQ+ hate crime in New York City also made headlines when O’Shae Sibley was stabbed to death at a gas station in Brooklyn. 

Sibley was a gay, black Vogue dancer who was with a group of friends when the incident occurred. The group was dancing shirtless to a Beyonce song while their friend filled their gas tank. They were then approached and taunted by a group of teenagers.

Argument Breaks Out

Similar to this recent incident in Chelsea, the teenagers shouted homophobic as well as racist remarks at Sibley and his friends. When an argument broke out between the two groups, Sibley was fatally stabbed with a knife. 

Brooklyn teenager Dmitry Popov was arrested for the crime and is currently being charged with two counts: murder and hate crime assault. 

No Further Details

As for this recent attack? Since the arrests, no further details have been released concerning the assailants or the 72-year-old victim of the crime. 

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