NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police in Brooklyn are searching for a suspect wanted for beating two men unconscious over the weekend while using anti-gay slurs.
The attack happened Sunday just before 1 p.m. on Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg.
Investigators say the man approached the victims, a 29-year-old and a 34-year-old, while making comments before brutally attacked them.
The 29-year-old was left with a broken finger and the 34-year-old suffered a fractured shoulder.
“There’s a lot of gays who live in this area,” said Williamsburg resident Kyle Cournover. “I myself am gay so that’s really unnerving to know that there are people who would go out of their way to just hurt people. That’s really shocking to me.”
“You think of New York and especially in Brooklyn as a place where there’s not those kind of feelings in this day and age but it’s really messed up,” said Ezra Marcus.
While some nearby residents say they’re now looking over their shoulder, others say if they let this suspect’s attack scare them, the attacker wins.
“I always feel very safe it’s very busy around here, it’s never desolate,” said Kristina Georgiou. “Now I’m going to rethink that.”
CBS2’s Marc Liverman spoke exclusively with one of the victims’ brother.
“I don’t know, I just don’t get it,” Matthew Schouten said. “It’s crazy.”
Schouten adds he just hopes the suspect is brought to justice.
“I wouldn’t want him to hurt anyone else,” he said.
Police haven’t said how the suspect got away, or which direction he headed after the apparent hate crime.