The New York police has released a sketch of a suspect in a gay bias attack on a man on a subway platform and is appealing for witnesses to come forward with any information.
The attack occurred early last Sunday as JP Masterson and his partner Peter Moore were waiting on the platform at West 4th Street Station in New York City’s Greenwich Village. They were on their way home from celebrating their 10-year anniversary when Masterson was approached by a man.
According to CBS News, the pair had initially thought that the man needed help but they soon ignored him when he asked if there were gay.
Masterson said the assailant had told the pair, 'I fucking hate faggots' before punching him in his face repeatedly.
'He just came at me in two seconds, and then he started shoving me towards the tracks,' Masterson, 39, said. His partner was not injured.
He said there were about 50 people at the busy subway station, but not one intervened or bothered to help.
Masterson, who suffered seven broken bones in his face, eye socket and nose, says he has difficulty breathing as his nose is off centre.
A police detective told Masterson that what probably set the assailant off was that he and Moore were holding hands, according to the report.
He said he was very disappointed that when the attack happened, no one on the crowded subway platform called police or did anything.
'New York State, all these other states are passing, you know, gay marriage – minimally, to be able to hold hands on your 10-year anniversary should not be an issue,' Masterson said.
'I can’t believe this happened in my city that I grew up in. The West Village is where I first came out and explored and felt accepted… the fact that it’s now a danger zone,' he said. 'I want my New Yorkers to step up and help me out, because, you know, at the end of the day, we’re all just people.'
The police is investigating the incident as a bias crime.
The suspect is believed to be a white male in his late 20s, and around 5 feet 8 inches tall and 170 pounds. He may also have a thick Polish accent. Click here to see police sketch.