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Four suspects in an alleged anti-gay hate crime in New York have been arrested.
NBC 4 New York reports the suspects began punching, kicking and shoving two men while shouting anti-gay epithets in the early hours of July 21 outside a train station in Babylon, N.Y.
The Long Island Press identifies the four men as 20-year-old Gregory Gilbert, Shane Buckley and Nicholas Battaglia, both 18, along with 17-year-old Justin Buckley. All four men were arrested and charged with assault as a hate crime, while Gilbert, Battaglia and Shane Buckley were also charged with gang assault, according to the report.
The victims, whose names have not been released, were taken to Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Islip, N.Y. According to CBS New York, one of the victims was reported to be in serious condition with unspecified injuries, while the other was treated and released.
Meanwhile, officials from the Long Island GLBT Services Network condemned the attack as "disturbing and frightening" ina press release cited by the Wisconsin Gazette. The press release continued as follows:
Many people think that just because we are winning the right to marry in many states, that the world has changed and everything is now okay for gay people. This incident reminds us that we need to be vigilant in combatting hate and homophobia and that there still is a tremendous amount of work to do to make our Long Island a safe and welcoming community for all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and families. It is our hope that the Suffolk County District Attorney will continue to prosecute this as the hate crime that it is, and show no mercy to the attackers -- they need to be sent away to prison, and by doing so, this will send a message all across Long Island that hate and violence will not be tolerated against any group.
New York has been hit with a spate of alleged anti-gay violence in recent months. In May, 32-year-old Mark Carson was fatally shot while walking through Manhattan's West Village neighborhood in what is believed to be a an anti-gay hate crime.
Prior to the shooting, suspect Elliot Morales is reported to have referred to Carson and his companion as "gay wrestlers" when he encountered them on the street.