A 24-year-old man was punched in the face and called an antigay slur while filming a TikTok video with a female friend in New York City, and police are investigating the attack as a hate crime.
The unidentified assailant came up behind the man and woman about 11:30 p.m. Saturday in the Financial District in lower Manhattan and made an unsolicited comment, which included the slur, according to New York TV station WABC and other local outlets. The New York Daily News published a truncated version of the slur, which appears to have been “fucking faggot.”
The two men fought briefly, and the attacker hit the video-maker in the face and the back of the head as the woman tried to intervene. The victim was left with a bloody nose and a cut to his lip but declined medical treatment at the scene.
The attacker ran from the area. He was described as a white man with blond hair, 5 foot 9 to 5 foot 10, and weighing about 200 pounds. He was last seen wearing a long-sleeved white shirt, black shorts, and black sneakers.
The assault was captured on TikTok, and the New York Police Department has released the video. Its bias crimes unit is investigating. The NYPD asks that anyone with information call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.
Anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes have been on the rise in recent years. Information released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation late last year showed that of the 7,120 reported hate crimes in 2018, 16.7 percent were motivated by sexual orientation and 2.2 percent by gender identity. In 2017, crimes based on sexual orientation accounted for 15.9 percent of the total, and crimes based on gender identity for 1.7 percent.