Tags: gay | bashing | knicks | fan | video

Gay-Bashing Knicks Fan Video Released, Investigated as Hate Crime

Friday, 10 May 2013 08:27 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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The New York Police Department has released a video of the Knicks fans who are wanted for questioning after a gay couple was verbally bashed and physically beaten in Manhattan Sunday in a possible hate crime.

Nick Porto, 27, and Kevin Atkins, 22, believe they were targeted by a group of rowdy Knicks fans because of their sexuality. The couple claims they were knocked to the ground by four men who emerged from Madison Square Garden after the Knicks playoff game against the Indiana Pacers Sunday. The suspects reportedly yelled gay slurs at Porto and Atkins as they kicked and punched them.

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"My partner Kevin and I got jumped yesterday in broad daylight in midtown," Porto wrote on Facebook after the incident. "A group of Knicks fans were upset about the game and they just decided to 'f— bash' the two of us. They broke my nose and his wrist, and broke several hundreds of dollars worth of personal property."

The assailants fled before police could arrive. The couple was taken to Bellevue Hospital and treated for their injuries.

"I've never had a feeling like this before in the city," Porto told DNAinfo.com. "I didn't know that it's not over, that this sort of stuff still happens."

Police are investigating whether the assault was a hate crime, and also issued a description of the main suspect in the attack. He is said to be a Hispanic male about 6-foot with brown hair and a tattoo on his left forearm, last seen wearing a white T-shirt, white sneakers, jeans, and a Knicks #7 jersey. The video shows a few other persons of interest also wearing #7 jerseys.

Porto said the attack has caused him to lose faith in New York as a safe place for a gay man.

"I was being foolish," he said. "I was so naive to think that things were better here."




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