Two men Wednesday became the latest victims of a string of gay hate crimes in New York City after they were allegedly assaulted in Manhattan by a group of men.
Michael Felenchak, 27, and Peter Notman, 53, said they were holding hands while walking near Ninth Avenue and West 24th Street around 1 a.m. when two strangers confronted them and shouted anti-gay slurs. The argument escalated and four more men joined the attack and beat the pair before running away, police said.
The victims, one of whom needed seven stitches, returned Wednesday night to the scene of the attack with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and state Sen. Brad Hoylman to call for an end to the hate crimes.
"We need to send a message to people who think they are going to get away with this, because they won't get away with this," said Quinn, a lesbian who is running for mayor.
Police are still investigating the assault. No arrests have been made. There have been 65 reported hate crime incidents as of July 28 compared with 29 during the same period last year, according to the NYPD.