A 24-year-old man was walking near Brooklyn’s Prospect Park on April 4 when another man approached him, hurled anti-gay slurs at him, and then punched him in the left arm before taking off, according to the NYPD.
Police say the alleged attack took place at roughly 1:25 p.m. in front of 33 Lincoln Road, just steps away from the Prospect Park B/ S/ Q subway station on the eastern side of the park in the Prospect Lefferts Gardens section.
It is not clear which slurs were used during the attack. The 24-year-old victim was not seriously injured, according to police.
The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the case, but the identity of the man who carried out the attack is not known.
Police are seeking to find a suspect pictured here and question him. He is described by police as between 25 and 35 years old and was last seen wearing glasses, a black sweatshirt with “Rebel” written on it, black Adidas track pants, and white and black sneakers.
The attack came two weeks before a homophobe threatened to use a crowbar to damage property at a church in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn — all because of a tiny Rainbow Flag sticker posted on a sign outside near the building.
That man left a voice message vowing to remove the Rainbow Flag sticker and add a sticker of his own. According to Brooklyn City Councilmember Justin Brannan, the man said, “Take it down or lose everything!”
In a separate case in March, a threatening sign with an anti-gay slur was posted at the Seneca Avenue subway station in Ridgewood, Queens. Police never tracked down a suspect in that case.
Authorities said that in both of those cases the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force launched investigations. No arrests have been made to date.
Police had better luck in their investigation of a homophobic incident from November of last year when a man yelled anti-gay slurs and assaulted a woman on an E train in the Forest Hills 71st Ave. subway station in Queens. Allasheed Allah, 54, was arrested in connection with that case in December and charged with assault as a hate crime and aggravated assault as a hate crime.