NEW YORK — Police are investigating the assault on a gay man who alleges he was attacked by a gang of Hasidic Jewish men who shouted anti-gay slurs at him while he was walking home in Brooklyn.
Taj Patterson, 22, a fashion student at the New York City College of Technology, said he was attacked in the early morning hours of Dec. 1, reported the New York Daily News.
“I’m walking down some block by myself and then the next thing I know, I’m surrounded by a group of Hasidic Jewish men and they’re attacking me,” Patterson said. “I was alone. I was an easy target. I’m black. I’m gay, a whole slew of reasons.”
Patterson said the group of men watched as their leader proceeded to attack him, kicking him in the face.
Article continues below“He told me to ‘stay down, faggot, stay the fuck down,’ ” Patterson recalled. “And that’s really all I can remember of that.”
Patterson was “highly intoxicated, uncooperative and incoherent,” after the assault, according to a police complaint — but he remembers the ringleader.
Evelyn Keys, a bus driver for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, was rounding the corner where the attack occurred, and reportedly saw the group of men surrounding Patterson, according to the Daily News.
The assault left Patterson with a torn retina, a broken eye socket, blood clotting and cuts on his legs. He’s expected to have surgery to reattach his retina.
The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the attack, police said.