Police have released sketches of suspects in two newly reported assaults that are being investigated as hate crimes.
The first incident occurred on Sunday, March 17 at 4:15 a.m. at the corner of Roosevelt Avenue and 88th Street in Queens, cops said. The suspect, described as a 5-foot-4, 140-pound Hispanic male in his early-to-mid 20s, allegedly punched a 49-year-old Hispanic female in the face while making anti-gay statements. The victim suffered bruising, redness, and swelling to the lip, according to police reports.
The NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force is reportedly investigating the incident.
The second incident occurred on Sunday, May 26, at 11:45 p.m. on a J train in Brooklyn between the Marcy Avenue and Gates Avenue stops, cops said. Police said the 27-year-old victim was talking with a male friend on the train when he was approached by the suspect, who made anti-gay statements before punching the victim twice in the face. The suspect then reportedly ran away to the back of the train.
The victim refused medical attention at the scene, cops said. The Hate Crimes Task Force is also investigating this incident. The suspect is described as a 6-foot-tall man in his mid-to-late 20s with dark hair in a bun and a blue denim jacket.
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The NYPD asks that anyone with information regarding either of these incidents call 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). All calls are confidential.
There has been an apparent uptick in anti-gay crimes in recent weeks, though Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has maintained that the increase could be attributed to an increase in reported crimes, as people tend to feel more comfortable coming forward about such attacks after high-profile reports.
Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat