A 23-year-old Jackson Heights man was followed down several blocks before he was beaten and sexually assaulted by three men, police said.
The suspects hurled anti-gay slurs at the victim when he walked out of a restaurant on 81st Street and Roosevelt Avenue just after midnight on Monday. The assailants continued to verbally harass him until they reached 37th Avenue and 83rd Street when the harassment became physical, according to authorities. The three men beat, robbed and sexually assaulted the victim before fleeing the scene.
The victim was taken to Elmhurst Hospital and is in stable condition, police said.
The NYPD’s Hate Crime Task force is investigating the attack.
Jackson Heights was the scene of what was initially reported as another hate crime just one day before. On Sunday morning, at about 4 a.m., a 35-year-old transgender woman was repeatedly struck in the head and face and slammed to the ground after a verbal altercation with a male suspect. According to police, the victim and suspect previously knew each other. The victim is in critical condition at Elmhurst Hospital.
“The survivors of these attacks may have been targeted because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. If true, these assaults are attempts to strike fear in the heart of the LGBT community and the neighborhood at large,” said City Councilman Daniel Dromm, a member of the LGBT Caucus and founder of the Queens Pride Parade. “We will not tolerate hate. I am confident that the NYPD is aggressively pursuing this case.”
Assemblyman Francisco Moya also joined Dromm in condemning the attacks: “There is no space for violence in our community and such abhorrent behavior will not be tolerated.”