Bloomberg and Kelly Address Media as Two Additional Anti-Gay Assaults are Reported
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly addressed the media today in response to the hate crime killing of Mark Carson and recent wave of assaults against the gay community that has seen two additional incidences in the past 24 hours.
As reported in CapitalNewYork.com, Ray Kelly informed the media today that while overall hate crimes have fallen nearly 30 percent this year, the city has seen a "significant" 70-percent surge in anti-gay hate crimes.
"This time last year, there were 14 reported anti-gay hate crimes. So far this year, there have been 29." said Kelly who added that "In the last 24 hours, there have been two additional assaults as hate crimes," said Kelly this afternoon, at a press conference at police headquarters.
WCBS reports A gay couple was attacked in SoHo around 5:20 a.m. Tuesday. Police said the couple, ages 41 and 42, were walking on Broadway near Prince Street when two men began yelling anti-gay slurs. One of the victims suffered an eye injury, police said. Fabian Ortiz, 32 of Washington Heights, and Pedro Jiminez, 23, of Park Slope were arrested and are being charged with third degree assault as a hate crime.
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg
Prior to that attack, As previously reported by EDGE, at around 10:45 p.m. Monday night, a 45-year-old Dan Contarino was attacked in the East Village. Police identified the suspect who is still at large, as 39 year old Roman Gronel. According to NYPD, Gronel, who has been living at the Bowery Mission, has an substantial arrest history.
During today’s press conference Mayor Michael Bloomberg referred to the recent killing of Mark Carson, saying
"it was a cold-blooded hate crime that cut short a life full of promise - and brought back awful memories for people who were once afraid to walk down the street with the person that they loved. Thankfully, we have come a long way from those days - but the murder of Mark Carson is a tragic reminder of how far we still have to go."
Bloomberg pledged support from the city and police department, but urged New Yorkers to play their part.
"The NYPD, however, can only do a certain amount to protect New Yorkers from violence. We’ll do everything that we can and we’ll prosecute, to the fullest extent of the law, anyone who commits hate crimes. But all of us can do our part as well to end hate crimes and spread tolerance: as parents, as teachers, as friends, and as members of the community." adding that "No person - regardless of what they look like or who they love - should ever walk down the street in fear."