Man charged with hate crime after lesbian on subway left unconscious, needing eight stitches
A 27-year-old Brooklyn man has been indicted on charges of assault as a hate crime after leaving a lesbian woman unconscious.
Authorities have said Antoine Thomas boarded a subway train and sat next to the woman and her girlfriend before shouting homophobic slurs at the couple.
He yelled “Faggot! Dyke!” at the two women, allegedly.
He also is said to have aggressively bumped into the victim when the train suddenly stopped, according to NBC New York.
The couple asked the man to stop by pleading with him to calm him down.
But when the subway arrived at Dekalb Avenue station in downtown Brooklyn, Thomas allegedly punched one of the women in the face, knocking her unconscious.
He then attempted to flee the scene not by exiting the train, but by walking between carriages, authorities have said.
The train conductor called the police, and Thomas was arrested at the station.
The woman who was knocked out was treated at hospital for a concussion, broken nose and contusion.
She suffered serious cuts to her eye which needed doctors to give her eight stitches.
Thomas is facing up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the most serious crime he is charged with.
The spike in hate crimes came after President Donald Trump was elected in November.
The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force had to hire five new investigators since last year to deal with the increasing number of incidents.
Last week, a straight New York City police officer used Pride celebrations to send an important message about being an ally to the LGBT community.
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He wore a shirt reading: “I may be straight but I don’t hate,” with the word ‘hate’ written in rainbow colours.
He explained: “I’ll be out there working at Pridefest today wearing this shirt under my uniform for a lot of reasons.
“For my step brother. For my priest.
“For my aunts who died before they could be legally married. For my cousin.”