A man threw hot coffee at a member of the LGBTQ community last weekend in Port Washington and yelled an "anti-gay" slur, according to police, in an attack condemned as a hate crime by officials in the hamlet.

At about 4 p.m. on Saturday, a “male perpetrator” threw hot coffee and “shouted an anti-gay slur” at a man who pulled up on a motorcycle to a Starbucks on Main Street, according to the Port Washington police's Assistant Chief Kevin McCarroll.

“There is zero tolerance for hate crime in Port Washington," said McCarroll.

Because of the ongoing investigation, McCarroll declined to further characterize the attack, but said police were “looking at any and all surveillance footage in the area.”

Port Washington community leaders spoke out against the attack. 

Melanie D'Arrigo, co-founder of Be The Rainbow — a Port Washington-based nonprofit dedicated to supporting and creating safe spaces for members of the LGBTQ community — called Port Washington an accepting place and said the attack "shocked a lot of folks in the community."

“We’ve been fielding calls from community members just heartbroken that this happened here," she said.

D'Arrigo noted the attack occurred a day after the Supreme Court's conservative majority ruled a Christian graphic artist who wants to design wedding websites can refuse to work with same-sex couples. 

“The danger to minority communities is very real and it’s bolstered by what’s happening on the national stage politically,” she said.

D'Arrigo said she did not have information on the victim’s physical condition.

She said her nonprofit is partnering with North Hempstead Councilwoman Mariann Dalimonte to sponsor workshops that will teach individuals how to respond to hateful actions and how to be an ally to the LGBTQ community.

“When there is no community response, it sends a signal that it's accepted and that is absolutely not the case here,” D'Arrigo said.

Dalimonte, a lifelong Port Washington resident, said she was appalled by such intolerance.

"Port Washington is a diverse and accepting community, and we proudly uphold the principles of North Hempstead's 'Not in our Town' program,” Dalimonte said in a statement. “It's extremely disheartening that in 2023, we still witness such hate and intolerance, but we remain steadfast in our commitment to creating an inclusive society."

Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to contact them at tips@pwpd.ny.gov or by calling 516-883-0500.

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