NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Some residents are on heightened alert as police investigate three separate anti-gay bias attacks in Manhattan.
The assaults happened in Chelsea, the West Village and Hell’s Kitchen. Police are not saying any of them are related and investigators are looking for different suspects in each case.
The most recent incident happened around 1:40 a.m. Saturday on West 49th Street between 9th and 10th avenues.
Police said a 23-year-old man was walking alone when three men approached him, threw him to the ground and repeatedly kicked him. Sources said the victim was targeted because he is gay, CBS2’s Magdalena Doris reported.
The suspects then fled. The victim was treated for his injuries.
“I’ve been called things before, but I just don’t say anything, keep walking,” said Hell’s Kitchen resident Patrick Doyle. “You kind of have to go back into hiding and keep a low profile for a while.”
“This has been traditionally a gay neighborhood, so I don’t know, somehow the message has to get across that it’s not alright to do something like that,” said Hell’s Kitchen resident Jean Gavora.
Police released surveillance video showing two of the three suspects.
Another incident happened in the early morning hours of Oct. 30 against two men on 8th Avenue and West 14th Street in Chelsea. The suspect allegedly started yelling anti-gay slurs before fighting with the men.
A 32-year-old man suffered a facial fracture and his 28-year-old friend hurt his hand. Police have released a sketch of the suspect.
A group seen in Halloween costumes is wanted for attacking a man on an elevator inside the Jane Hotel also on Oct. 30, police said.
The 26-year-old victim was punched and kicked after one of the suspects made an anti-gay comment, police said. The victim was taken to Mount Sinai hospital with a cut to his head, police said.
None of the victims in any of the cases were robbed and it doesn’t appear that they knew their attackers.
Anyone with information in any of the attacks is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or for Spanish 1-888-57-PISTA (74782), visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or text tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.