A 22-year-old fashion student says he was the target of a hate crime early Sunday morning while walking near the Bed-Stuy/Williamsburg border, reported New York 1 News.
The victim, Taj Patterson, who is black, alleged he was brutally attacked by a gang of Hasidic men while walking on his way back from a party on the corner of Spencer Street and Flushing Avenue. Patterson said the group of men were shouting homophobic slurs at him during the attack.
“I was alone. I was an easy target. I’m black. I’m gay, a whole slew of reasons,” Patterson told police of what might have provoked the attack.
Patterson was “highly intoxicated, uncooperative and incoherent,” after the assault, according to police. He was rushed to Woodhull Hospital where he was treated for a broken eye socket, a torn retina, blood clotting, and cuts and bruises to his knee and ankles.
“We cannot have these attacks, just like we cannot have people punched in the back of the head in Crown Heights or East New York,” said Kenneth Thompson, Brooklyn District Attorney-elect. “…These attacks are an attack on the rule of law; an attack on all of us.”
The hate crimes unit of the New York City Police Department is investigating.