Thug batters two men and punches woman who tried to help in brutal homophobic hate crime

The NYPD images of man suspected of a homophobic hate crime

Police are investigating a homophobic hate crime on a busy New York City subway that left three people injured.

According to the New York City Police Department, two victims, who are both aged 19, were riding a Queens-bound train on 31 July at around 3.30am when a man approached them and made anti-gay comments.

He then punched one of the teens multiple times in the face before striking the second victim.

As the two victims fled the train a woman, who was trying to help them, was also punched in the face by the assailant. According to police, the unidentified suspect then fled on foot.

NBC New York reported that all the victims were left with pain and swelling to their faces as a result of the attack. The police said the victims all refused medical attention.

The incident is being investigated by the NYPD Hate Crimes task force, and the force has released a video of the suspect on Twitter. Investigators said the man was seen outside 795 8th Avenue just before the attack.

Homophobic attack is the latest in a wave of anti-LGBT+ crime to hit New York City.

Last month, a doctor was left needing emergency surgery for a broken jaw after a brutal attack by a man shouting anti-LGBT+ hate.

Sina Rezaie told NBC New York that he was walking home from the subway in Greenwich Village on 3 July when a man shouted a homophobic slur at him.

Rezaie described how the man “came from behind and kicked and punched me multiple times”. The doctor was left with a broken jaw in two places, and his jaw needed to be “banded shut with screws and metal plates”.

In May, a man was stabbed with an ice pick while his attacker yelled “f****t” on a New York City subway. The same month, NYPD released CCTV footage of a thug who allegedly punched a gay man in broad daylight while screaming about the “f*****g gays”.

Last year, a New York City teen was punched in the face in a homophobic attack, and a trans woman riding the subway was slapped and spat on in a transphobic attack.