NYPD Arrest Suspect in Connection with May 5 Gay Bashing in Midtown
One of a group of eight men who allegedly attacked a Manhattan gay couple outside of Madison Square Garden in broad daylight last May has been apprehended by police and has been charged with assault as a hate crime; The New York Daily News reports.
On Oct. 3, NYPD detectives arrested 24-year-old Martin Marinez of Mount Vernon, NY for the May 5 attack on Kevin Atkins and Nick Porto in midtown Manhattan following a New York Knicks game. He is the first of eight suspects being sought by police in connection with this crime.
According to police, Porto and Atkins were walking arm-in-arm down Eighth Avenue between 34th and 35th Streets near Madison Square when they were accosted by a group of men coming from the Knicks game who harassed the couple on the sidewalk before beating them while hurling anti-gay epithets. The attack left Atkins with a broken wrist and Porto with a broken nose.
The incident was captured on surveillance video cameras in the area. Police circulated photos of the assailants after the attack.
Martinez has been charged with hate crime charges of attempted assault and aggravated harassment. Police haven't revealed how the suspect was involved in the crime but according to sources detectives are hopeful Martinez will give up his accomplices and more arrests will come in the case. He was released on $1,500 cash bail.
"I've been told people get mugged all the time - the difference is when you're mugged, the attacker wants your money. In a hate crime, they want blood." Porto said on Friday according to DNA Info.
The Porto / Atkins attack was the first in a rash of widely reported violent crimes against the gay community in Manhattan that took place in the late spring and early summer. Two weeks after Porto and Atkins were attacked in midtown, a gunman shot and killed 32-year-old Mark Carson after yelling a series of anti-gay slurs at him. In August, Islan Nettles, a 21-year-old transgender woman was brutally beaten to death in Harlem.
Martinez is due in court on December 2nd.