Rally in Jackson Heights on Tuesday demands justice for victim of anti-gay hate crime

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Councilman Daniel Dromm will join community leaders on Jan. 22 in Jackson Heights to demand justice for the survivor of an anti-gay hate crime.

Dromm, attorney Ali Najmi and Elmhurst resident Jeremy Valarezo, the survivor of the attack, will gather at the northwest corner of 78th Street and Roosevelt Avenue at 10 a.m. and denounce what they call an anti-gay business, Village Moon, and demand that the NYPD charge employee Mohammed Hoque, the alleged perpetrator, with a hate crime.

On Nov. 3, 2018, Valarezo and his husband made a small purchase using a credit card at Village Moon, located at 78-01 Roosevelt Ave. in Jackson Heights. After the purchase, store employee Monammed Hoque insisted on photocopying Valarezo’s drivers license.

When Valerezo and his husband objected, Hoque launched into an anti-gay tirade calling them “f—-ts” among other slurs, according to Dromm’s office.

After Valarezo and his husband exited the shop, Dromm said, Hoque allegedly assaulted Valarazo. While the police were shown video evidence clearly indicating that this assault was a hate crime, they chose to ignore it, according to Dromm’s office. Instead, the NYPD charged one of the victims with a felony, which was later reduced to a class A misdemeanor.

Hoque, the alleged perpetrator of the hate crime, was given a mere desk appearance ticket by the NYPD.

In Jackson Heights, hone to one of the largest LGBTQ communities in New York, such hate and violence should never be tolerated — least of all by the NYPD, according to Dromm’s office. The councilman, Najmi, Valarezo, LGBTQ and South Asian community leaders will speak out against Village Moon and Hoque, and demand that charges against Hoque be elevated to a hate crime.

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