NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force looking for man who assaulted three straphangers in LIC

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Investigators with the NYPD Hate Crime Task Force are looking for a man who allegedly spewed anti-gay statements before attacking three people last month. (Photo courtesy of NYPD)

Detectives with the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force are investigating an anti-gay bias incident aboard a Queens-bound E train late last month.

According to authorities, two 19-year-old men were riding the subway around 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 31, when they were approached by a man who made anti-gay statements before slugging one of the men several times in the face.

As the subway pulled into the Court Square station in Long Island City, the assailant then punched the second man in the face. When the train doors opened, the two victims fled onto the platform, according to the NYPD.

A 32-year-old woman attempted to intervene on the station’s mezzanine level and she was punched in the face by the assailant, who then fled on foot, police said. All three victims suffered pain and swelling to their faces but refused medical attention, according to authorities.

Investigators released images of the man they want to talk to from earlier in the evening as he stood outside a bar in the Times Square area, located at 795 Eighth Ave.

The suspect was wearing a very distinctive baseball cap with a Nike swoosh logo as well as the iconic Rolling Stones Hot Lips logo. He appeared to be agitated as he stood alone at the club’s velvet rope.

No arrests have been made, and the investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information in regard to the identity of the suspects is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com, or on Twitter @NYPDTips.

All calls are kept confidential.