On Sunday, June 30th at around 11:45 PM, I was riding home on the Queens-bound F train following a day of LGBT Pride festivities. Two men were loudly making homophobic comments, such as “Today was a scary day for me. There were fags everywhere.“ When a group of queer youth got on the train, the men proceeded to harass them, stating that the teens made them want to puke and that they would be killed if they were in Iran. The first assailant then threatened to rape them, at which point I took out my phone to document the incident.
Seeing that he was being recorded, the first assailant lunged at me, violently grabbing my arms while trying to steal away my phone. One of the youth took the phone from me temporarily to protect it and told the assailant he shouldn’t attack a woman. When the assailant threatened to punch me, I took the phone back and ran to the other side of the train to push the emergency button and alert the authorities. At this point the second assailant got up and came towards me, grabbing my body and hands to try and get the phone to destroy the evidence. I yelled and told him I was an attorney. An onlooker then got up and stood between the assailants and myself, and another person left to get the train conductor.
A group of people had gathered to stand up to the gay bashers. During this, the second assailant put his hand around the neck of a young queer woman. When the doors opened up at the Roosevelt Ave stop, both assailants fled. I followed them to the station exit while calling 911. One witness had overheard them saying they were on route to Jamaica; they’re likely commuters who regularly take this route.
I uploaded the video to YouTube to see if anyone can identify these men. I was left with bruises and scratches from both assailants which I also documented. If anyone sees them or knows them personally, please contact the authorities. This was a hate crime.