Hate crimes up in Queens; steady in Brooklyn, Bronx

Anthony Collao

One year ago this week, seven Bronx men were arrested for a string of anti-gay attacks. They burned their victims with cigarettes and sodomized them with baseball bats, said police — all because they thought they were gay.
 
The brutal assault shocked New Yorkers, especially after a summer when multiple Latino men were attacked and harassed in Staten Island.
 
And a year later, despite the legalization of gay marriage and an outspoken, openly gay City Council speaker, hate crimes in New York City remain steady. In one borough, Queens, hate crime prosecutions are even on the rise, Metro found.
 
In June, six Queens teens were charged with murder as a hate crime, after they allegedly beat to death Anthony Collao, an 18-year-old Long Island man they thought was gay. Collao had a girlfriend, according to reports, but was leaving a party thrown by two gay men when he was attacked.
 
And in May, a Bronx man fled a group chasing him with knives and a bat while yelling “tranny,” according to court documents.
 
Just last month, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is a lesbian, canvassed the Bed-Stuy neighborhood where a 24-year-old gay man was robbed and called anti-gay slurs on his way home.
 
“Too often we hear about acts of violence committed against LGBT people in our city,” Quinn said in a statement. “New York City prides itself on diversity and acceptance of all its residents, and this act goes against the very fiber of what our city stands for.”

Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @AlisonatMetro.
 


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