New York Attack on Gay Couple Investigated as a Hate Crime

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The weekend attack on a gay couple in midtown Manhattan is now being investigated as a hate crime by the New York City Police Department, CBS New York reports.

Nick Porto and his partner Kevin Atkins were assaulted in broad daylight on Sunday around 5 p.m., outside Madison Square Garden as the New York Knicks played the Indiana Pacers. Porto told DNAInfo New York that he was walking arm-in-arm with Atkins when they were knocked to the ground by a group of men in their 20s wearing Knicks jerseys.

The group called the couple faggots, made fun of the pair of jeans Porto, a clothing designer, made for himself. When Porto asked why they were yelling, the men allegedly attacked them to the ground and began kicking and punching them.

"Fists started flying. I was on the ground, and the only thing I could do, I reached out and grabbed someone’s hair," Porto said. The attackers fled the scene before police arrived and a detective told the couple there were too many people wearing Knicks jerseys to identify the men who assaulted them.

After the incident, the couple was taken to a nearby hospital. Atkins suffered a broken wrist, which has left him unable to do his job, which requires a lot of typing. In addition, his bag with an iPad and cell phone was destroyed in the attack, according to DNAInfo. Porto suffered a broken nose and has severe headaches.

"I’m so upset - it’s my fault, I spoke back to them - that Kevin was hit. He didn’t deserve it whatsoever," Porto said. "I was that idiot that should have just walked away." He added that he’s never had a fear "like this before in the city" and that he didn’t know "that this sort of stuff still happens."

Police told CBS New York they are investigating the incident as a hate crime.

From our media partner EDGEJason St. Amand