A man was stabbed Wednesday night in one of New York City’s most vibrant gay neighborhoods in what police are investigating as a possible hate crime.
The 44-year-old man was walking along a rainbow-flag-lined avenue in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen when a group of men made an anti-gay remark toward him. When the victim confronted the men, two of them punched him in the face and another man stabbed him in the leg, a spokesperson for the New York City Police Department said Thursday.
Authorities said the victim was hospitalized in stable condition, while the suspects remain at large.
New York City Council Member Erik Bottcher, who is gay and whose district includes Hell’s Kitchen, said he is “enraged” by the attack.
“New York City is a symbol of diversity and freedom throughout the world, and Hell’s Kitchen is a haven for the LGBTQ+ community, and we will always stand up against hate of all kinds,” Bottcher said in a statement. “We will not be intimidated.”
The stabbing Wednesday is among a string of violent attacks against LGBTQ people, venues and symbols in New York City — arguably the birthplace of the modern LGBTQ rights movement — in recent months.
In February, a woman set a Manhattan restaurant’s rainbow pride flag on fire, in what police are also investigating as a possible anti-LGBTQ hate crime. Last month, right-wing protesters flocked to a Drag Story Hour event — where drag performers read children’s books to kids and their families — at Manhattan’s LGBTQ community center.
And on Monday, several suspects were arraigned in connection with a string of drug-facilitated robberies that left two gay men dead. Many of the victims, including the two who died, were targeted at or just outside gay bars in Hell’s Kitchen. Authorities, however, believe the suspects targeted the victims primarily for financial gain, though the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is assisting in the investigation.