2 men robbed and hit with screwdriver, glass bottle in anti-gay crime at NYC bodega
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: The New York City Police Department's (NYPD) Hate Crimes Taskforce is investigating a robbery in Brooklyn as a possible hate crime. According to reports, two men were attacked at a bodega by two Black men, with one of them calling a victim "f----t", and attacking the two with a glass bottle and screwdriver. Both suspects are now at large and the NYPD has released photos of them from the incident, hoping the public can help in identifying and arresting them.
The incident occurred on September 4, Saturday, and is one of the many hate crime incidents recorded in NYC this year. In particular, most incidents have been targeted at Asian-Americans, partly inspired by conservatives blaming China for Covid-19. In March, Brandon Elliot was charged for kicking an elderly Asian-American woman. Then in May, a 75-year-old woman was sucker punched in Queens.
However, it's not just Asian-Americans who have been facing hate crime incidents. In July, doctor Sina Rezaie was attacked, leaving him with a fractured jaw, by a homophobic man in Greenwich Village. As with the latest incident, it appears Rezaie was targeted for being gay. The victims of the attack at the Brooklyn bodega have not been identified, but at least one of them is reportedly gay. Here's everything we know about the shocking incident.
Men attacked at Brooklyn bodega
At about 2.10 am on September 4, the two men were buying food at a bodega on Broadway near Halsey St. in Bushwick. Two Black men then walked into the store and began "mouthing off" at them. One of the suspects called one victim a "f----t" before the two began attacking the victims. The two men were slashed with a glass bottle and stabbed with a screwdriver before the perpetrators escaped with the victims' phones and cash.
Both men were taken to local hospitals and are reportedly in stable condition. The Daily Mail reported that one victim, a 36-year-old male suffered a puncture wound to his chin and a cut on his lips. His 28-year-old friend was left with cuts on his right hand and shoulder. On September 5, the NYPD released images of the two suspects. One of them was described as having a medium build and a beard. He was wearing a red baseball hat, red shirt, red-and-white pants, and red shoes. The other has a heavy build and black dreadlocks. He was wearing a black shirt, black shorts, and black-and-white sandals.
If anyone has any information about the two men, they are asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS. The brutal attack is part of a large surge in hate crime, which has seen increased numbers against all groups. In 2020, there were 649 recorded incidents against gay men, and 676 recorded hate incidents against Jewish people. Even hate crimes against White people have seen a rise, reportedly by 16% as compared to 2020. However, the biggest rise has been in incidents against Asian-Americans, from 158 in 2019 to 274 in 2020.