News (USA)

Registered sex offender arrested for vicious anti-LGBTQ+ subway attack

The NYPD release a photo of the suspect in Friday's attack.
The NYPD release a photo of the suspect in Friday's attack. Photo: Screenshot / WNBC

The man who attacked a fellow New York City subway rider while shouting anti-LGBTQ+ slurs earlier this month is a registered sex offender with an extensive criminal history.

Police arrested 46-year-old Milton Hamlin last Tuesday in connection with the anti-LGBTQ+ assault. He faces several charges, including assault as a hate crime and menacing as a hate crime, NBC News reported.

Hamlin reportedly approached the victim on a northbound A train somewhere between 14th Street and 34th Street Penn Station in Manhattan around 11 p.m. on March 1. The 27-year-old victim was seated on the train with his husband, the New York Daily News reported.

Police say Hamlin lunged at the victim shouting, “F—ing gay motherf—er!” and brandishing a boxcutter.

The victim raised his hand to defend himself, and was slashed between the thumb and forefinger. He and his husband got off the train at the 34th Street stop and called police. The victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital where he received four stitches.

Hamlin remained on the train, avoiding arrest. But the NYPD released a cellphone photo of the suspect on March 2, and were able to identify Hamlin using facial recognition. The victim and witnesses positively identified Hamlin as the attacker, according to NYPD Lt. John Russo.

Police arrested Hamlin at his Bronx apartment last Tuesday. In photos he is seen wearing the same grey puffer jacket with fur trimmed hood that he was wearing in the cellphone image released by police following the attack.

The Daily News reports that Hamlin has an extensive criminal history. Alongside arrests for grand larceny and robbery, he has also been on New York’s sex offender registry since 2012. That year, he was convicted of attempting to sexually abuse a 16-year-old boy, serving 19 months in prison before being released in July 2013. Prior to that he served 17 months in prison for assault.

At a news briefing last week, Russo said that the victim and his husband “were acting like every other couple on the train.”

“They were together and for whatever reason Milton Hamlin took exception.”

The March 1 attack is just one of several recent violent incidents on the New York City subway system, which have drawn intense media scrutiny and prompted Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) to deploy National Guard troops to patrol stations and check riders’ bags. The move has drawn intense criticism, and Hochul has since ordered members of the National Guard not to carry military-grade weapons while conducting bag searches.  

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