On the evening of Saturday, 20 May, a lesbian couple boarded New York City’s Q train, headed to Brooklyn.
Soon after, 27-year-old Antoine Thomas boarded the train and allegedly yelled homophobic slurs at the two women, including f*ggot and d*ke. The couple pleaded with him, attempting to get him to calm down. It was then that he began assaulting one of the women until she was left unconscious.
The 24-year-old victim, whose identity is unknown at this time, was taken to Brooklyn Methodist Hospital where she was treated for a concussion, a broken eye socket, and several deep cuts requiring stitches.
Thomas attempted to flee the scene, but was arrested by a transit officer. He was charged with assault, menacing, and harassment.
Thomas was released without bail following the arraignment in Brooklyn Criminal Court on Sunday, 21 May.
The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is currently investigating the attack, which may elevate Thomas’ charges to hate crimes.
In response to this, the Anti-Violence Project (AVP) has launched a bystander intervention pledge with the hashtag #IWillNotStandBy to encourage others ‘to look out for one another, to report anti-LGBTQ violence and discrimination where we witness it, and to intervene in ways that are safe for ourselves and those around us.’
GSN has reached out to AVP for comment.