NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A man was speaking out from his hospital room Tuesday, after he was attacked in what police are calling a possible hate crime.
The man requested to remain anonymous as he spoke exclusively to CBS2’s Scott Rapoport.
“He hit me right here in the jaw, fracturing it,” the man said.
The man also asked CBS2 to conceal his face and not reveal his identity. The 27-year-old social services worker from Brooklyn is now hospitalized with a fractured jaw — attacked and beaten, he says, because he is gay.
“I’m actually very grateful that I am alive right now,” he said.
Speaking to CBS2’s Rapoport from his hospital bed, the man recounted the entire frightening story.
Police say it all started around 4 a.m. Saturday at Crown Fried Chicken on Fulton Street near Franklin Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
The man said inside the fried chicken place, a group of six to eight people were hurling anti-gay slurs at another group inside the restaurant.
“I think I was more shocked than anything,” the victim said.
He said he had just come out of a nearby nightclub with a friend, who heard the commotion and had run over to try to break up the argument and defuse the situation — which had spilled out onto the street.
The victim told Rapoport he followed to check on his friend.
At that point, the assailant — seen in surveillance video — started spewing anti-gay slurs at the man. The assailant then punched the man in the face, fracturing his jaw.
“It’s a very traumatic situation,” the man said, “and I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.”
The suspect then took off and has yet to be apprehended.
The NYPD told CBS2 the attack is now being investigated as a possible hate crime.
“Other people were screaming homophobic epithets and slurs and also death threats, like, you know, ‘Do you want to die tonight?’ and things like that,” the victim said.
The man now faces surgery, having his jaw re-set and wired shut. He said he was attacked at the hands of a complete stranger.