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New York: Video captures verbal, physical harassment of queer youth

Witness alleges two men grabbed her and tried to take away phone

Credit: Screen capture from YouTube video
A group of queer youth was harassed on the NYC subway after Pride, June 30. Stopp Hate video

Two men caught on video are alleged to have verbally and physically harassed queer youth on the New York City subway on Sunday, June 30, following Pride festivities.

A witness recorded the incident on a phone, and the footage, with accompanying comments, was posted on YouTube.

"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,'  the witness who shot video of the incident alleges in the post. "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 witness says. "The first assailant then threatened to rape them," the witness alleges. She says it was at that point she began to document the incident.

"Seeing that he was being recorded," she alleges, "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."

The witness said a number of people gathered around to "stand up" to the two men. "During this, the second assailant put his hand around the neck of a young queer woman," she alleges. 

"When the doors opened up at the Roosevelt Ave stop, both assailants fled. I followed them to the station exit while calling 911."

The New York Anti-Violence Project denounced the incident and said it is reaching out to the New York Police Department about it, as well as to community partner Make the Road New York; Christine Quinn, speaker of New York City Council; the Queens District Attorney’s Office; and Queens Councillor Ruben Wills.