Men mugged and slashed with glass bottle in apparent homophobic hate crime

Two men, one wearing red and the other black, stand in a shop

Two men were slashed with a glass bottle and stabbed with a screwdriver in an apparent homophobic hate crime.

The New York City Police Department has launched an appeal after the victims, aged 36 and 28, were attacked by two individuals who made “anti-gay statements” towards them.

The attack took place in a at a Brooklyn convenience store early Saturday morning (4 September), at around 2:10 am. One of the men called the victims a “f****t”, sources told New York Daily News.

The verbal abuse quickly curdled into violence as the attackers “assaulted them with a glass bottle and screwdriver”.

They made off with the victims’ iPhones and money, fleeing on foot.

The 36-year-old was left with a puncture wound on his chin and lacerations on his lips, and was later rushed to the Woodhull Medical Center for medical treatment.

The 28-year-old, meanwhile, suffered cuts on his right hand and shoulder and was cared for at King’s County Hospital.

The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.

According to surveillance footage shared by NYPD CrimeStoppers, one of the suspects wrote a red baseball cap, red graphic t-shirt, red and white printed tracksuit bottom and red trainers.

The other suspect, seen on the right of the photograph, wrote a black t-shirt, black shorts and black-and-white sliders.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

The attack is the latest in a shocking surge in hate crimes in the city, with 364 hate crimes recorded from the beginning of 2021 to 29 August, NYPD data shows.

This is a  97.8 per cent increase on the 184 recorded in the same period last year.

The sharp upswing in hate crime has seen LGBT+ New Yorkers battered by gangs, suffer broken jaws and be punched in broad daylight.