NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The search continued Thursday night for the suspect wanted in connection with a bias attack against a gay couple in a subway stop in Greenwich Village.
As CBS 2’s Don Champion reported, the attack happened around 12:30 a.m. Sunday at the West 4th Street-Washington Square subway station, which serves the A, B, C, D, E, F and M lines.
As of Thursday, victim J.P. Masterson, 39, was still suffering from a bruised eye. And as if that weren’t enough, he had to deal with the flashbacks from the horrifying encounter – which was even more traumatizing than the physical violence for Masterson and his partner, Peter Moore.
“He was like, ‘I f***ing hate f***ots,” Masterson said.
Masterson and Moore, of New Jersey, were leaving a celebration dinner for their 10th anniversary, and thought the man needed help.
Police said the man first asked Masterson if he and his partner were gay, and they ignored him. That was when he attacked.
“He just came at me in two seconds, and then he started shoving me towards the tracks,” Masterson said.
Masterson told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria he and Moore had gone to dinner and a Broadway show to celebrate their 10 year anniversary.
“My heart just fell, you know, I mean, we were on such a high from the weekend,” Moore said.
Masterson said he taken to the hospital with a broken nose and other facial fractures.
“I have multiple fractures in my face, eye socket and nose,” Masterson told D’Auria. “I can’t really breathe because my nose is off center.”
Pictures from the hospital showed Masterson’s painful injuries, which include seven broken bones. He said the beating ended when he threw a drink in the attacker’s face.
A police detective told Masterson that what probably set the assailant off was that he and Moore were holding hands, D’Auria reported.
“New York State, all these other states are passing, you know, gay marriage – minimally, to be able to hold hands on your 10-year anniversary should not be an issue,” Masterson said.
Masterson told D’Auria he was shocked that such an attack happened.
“I can’t believe this happened in my city that I grew up in,” the attack victim told D’Auria. “The West Village is where I first came out and explored and felt accepted…the fact that it’s now a danger zone.”
Police on Thursday released a sketch of the suspect, whom the attack victim described to D’Auria.
“He definitely had an Eastern-European look,” Masterson said. “I think that he is probably Polish or something like that, because he was speaking Polish to my partner, who is part Polish.”
Investigators believe the attacker is also about 5 feet 8 inches in height, weighs around 170 pounds, and is in his late 20s.
Masterson added that he was very disappointed that when the attack happened, no one on the crowded subway platform called police or did anything. There were about 50 people on the platform at the time, he said.
“I want my New Yorkers to step up and help me out, because, you know, at the end of the day, we’re all just people,” he said.
But as he waited to undergo surgery, Masterson vowed that he is bruised, but not broken.
“You might beat me down, and I might look real grotesque right now, but I’m still standing,” he said.
On Friday, City Councilman Corey Johnson (D-3rd) and state Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan) plan to hand out the attacker’s sketch at the subway stop where the incident happened.
Meanwhile, anyone with information about the attack is asked to call the NYPD Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS, visit the NYPD Crime Stoppers website, or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.
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