A Long Island man beat two transgender women and shouted anti-gay slurs at them as they tried to walk into a McDonald’s in Jackson Heights on St. Patrick’s Day, according to police.
The two victims tried to enter the fast-food restaurant on 82nd Street at about 4:30 p.m. on March 17 when Patrick O’Meara, 38, began shouting at them, police said. O’Meara, who was drunk, called the women “b–ches” and “f-ggots,” punched one of the victims in the face and kicked another to the ground.
O’Meara fled the scene and came back with a cane, according to police, which he used to strike one of the victims. She tried to block her attacker with her left hand and suffered a laceration. The other victim also suffered an ankle injury after being pushed down.
The women were taken to Forest Hills Hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries, according to the NYPD.
He was charged with a hate crime, second-degree assault and injury with a weapon.
O’Meara has a lengthy crime sheet and was arrested nine times. Most recently, he stole a Volvo in Manhattan while he was drunk and was charged with grand larceny auto and driving while intoxicated, a spokesperson for the NYPD said.
Make the Road New York (MRNY), an immigrant advocacy group, released a statement after the attack saying they were “horrified” by the news.
“We condemn this brutal hate attack and stand in solidarity with the survivors,” said Bianey García, LGBTQ Justice organizer of MRNY. “We are horrified that transgender individuals in our community have suffered yet another hate attack. Transgender immigrant women like me are part of the heart and soul of our Jackson Heights, and we will not stand idly by as our community faces discrimination and violence. We will continue to organize in our communities and send the message that Jackson Heights and New York City must welcome and embrace all of us, and that hate has no place in our neighborhood and our City.”
In November 2015, a transgender woman was attacked while walking home in Jackson Heights. Several organizations, including MRNY and the NYC Human Rights Commission, held a rally in the neighborhood to condemn the attack.