Brutal video catches homophobe punching innocent man in the head in suspected hate crime

A man in a white tee shirts swings his fist at a man at the entrance of a drugstore

A 24-year-old was punched in the back of the head at a New York City CVS in a suspected homophobic hate crime.

Surveillance camera footage showed the startling moment a man brutally battered the victim as he entered a CVS store at Five Pennsylvania Plaza in Manhattan’s garment district.

A man in a white t-shirt walked into the store and struck the man in the back of the head and neck at 7pm Saturday (24 April), footage posted on the New York Police Department News Twitter account on Tuesday (28 April) showed.

According to NBC New York, the man allegedly shouted homophobic slurs at the victim during the assault before fleeing the CVS. Cops claim the suspect headed west on foot along 34th Street toward Ninth Avenue.

The victim did not suffer serious physical injuries and declined medical treatment at the scene.

NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force is investigating the incident and is urging those who know the suspect, wanted for assault, to contact them.

In the past few months, queer folk in New York City have been punched in the face by thugs shouting “I hate gay people” and pelted with tin cans and verbal abuse. At least seven anti-LGBT+ hate crimes have been confirmed by the police between January and March, according to the NYPD Hate Crime Dashboard.

In November 2020 an FBI report warned that anti-LGBT+ hate crimes were on the rise across the US.

The report compiled submissions from 15,588 law enforcement agencies across the US, showing that reports of hate crime based on sexual orientation and gender identity are now behind only race and religion in scale.

Crimes based on sexual orientation represent 16.8 per cent of all hate crime reports in 2019, while 2.7 per cent were targeted because of the offenders’ gender identity.

Campaigners however stress that hate crime levels are in actuality much higher.