A New York man was attacked last week while walking his dogs less than a block from his Brooklyn apartment, in a violent beating that authorities are reportedly treating as a hate crime.
David Jimenez, a resident of Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood, had escorted a group of friends to a cab and was returning to his apartment when he passed a group of men who began hurling homophobic slurs in his direction, according to The Brooklyn Paper.
“Someone started screaming, ‘Hey you, faggot,'” Jimenez told reporters. “I turned around and gave him a look like, ‘What the hell?’ and the next thing I know the guy starts punching me in the face.”
According to NY1, the 40-year-old Jimenez does not identify as gay, but officials are nonetheless investigating the case as a hate crime. Jimenez sustained multiple injuries, including having his nose broken in four places and a broken eye socket, Gothamist is reporting.
Blood could be seen splattered across the sidewalk following Jimenez's attack:
A witness to the incident called authorities to the scene. Upon arrival, they arrested Jimenez's attacker -- who had not bothered to leave.
“What the cops told me that night when I was in the ambulance [was] that he was at a funeral and he was very upset,” Jimenez said of his attacker. “I’m sorry for him, but that is no reason to attack someone like this.”
New Yorkers have seen a dramatic spike in hate crime violence this year, with former mayoral candidate Christine Quinn reportedly stating earlier this summer that year-to-year numbers indicated an expected 70 percent increase in anti-gay violence.
While hate crime violence is certainly a lived reality in other parts of the country, high-visibility cases of homophobic violence in New York this summer alone have sent shockwaves through the city's LGBT community and beyond. In August, a gay couple was attacked in the traditionally LGBT-friendly neighborhood of Chelsea while walking home from a movie.
In terms of other high-visibility cases of anti-gay violence to rock the Big Apple this summer, a group of New York Knicks fans allegedly attacked a gay couple near Madison Square Garden in May shortly before a gay man was reportedly assaulted outside of the popular gay bar Pieces in the West Village. A group of gay men were also alleged victims of anti-gay police brutality in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bed-Stuy in early June.
While these cases of violence against gay men are certainly devastating, the numbers are drastically different for transgender identifying individuals, with a disproportionate amount of LGBT hate violence committed against transgender women of color.
The 35-year-old suspect who allegedly attacked Jimenez is being charged with assault, criminal possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest, according to The Brooklyn Paper.
“That’s the most difficult part," said Jimenez. "Waking up every morning and trying to live my life like normal."