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Attack On Gay Couple Near Madison Square Garden Investigated As Hate Crime

Report: Couple Was Attacked By Group Wearing Knicks Jerseys
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Nick Porto, Kevin Atkins

Nick Porto, 27, and Kevin Atkins, 22, said they were assaulted while arm in arm near Madison Square Garden. (Credit: DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police have launched a hate crime investigation, following a broad daylight attack on a gay couple this past weekend on busy Eighth Avenue just steps from Madison Square Garden.

The attack happened around 5 p.m. Sunday between 34th and 35th streets as the Knicks played the Indiana Pacers, police told DNAInfo.

Nick Porto, 27, told the publication he was out walking arm-in-arm with his partner, Kevin Atkins, when they were knocked to the ground and by a group of men in their 20s wearing Knicks Jerseys.

The group first started calling the pair f***ots and made fun of the jeans Porto had actually made for himself for that specific day, and when Porto asked why they were shouting, the men knocked them to the ground and began kicking and punching them, the publication reported.

Atkins and Porto were both taken to Bellevue Hospital in unspecified conditions, the publication reported. Atkins was placed in a cast for a broken wrist that has left him unable to do his typing-intensive job in reality television, and his bag with an iPad and cell phone was destroyed in the attack, the publication reported.

Porto, of Brooklyn, told the publication that he no longer feels safe in New York as a gay man.

Police told 1010 WINS they were investigating the case as a hate crime.

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