Quinn Calls for Witnesses to Alleged Anti-Gay Attack to Come Forward
MIDTOWN — Eight days after they were brutally beaten by a group of Knicks fans near Madison Square Garden, a gay couple stood side by side with local politicians to call for more witnesses to come forward.
The men, Nick Porto, 27, and Kevin Atkins, 22, of Brooklyn, were joined by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, State Senator Brad Hoylman and LGBT advocates on a crowded street corner just steps from where the suspects shouted gay slurs and left Porto with a broken nose and Atkins' wrist in a cast.
The couple was attacked in broad daylight while walking arm in arm down Eighth Avenue, between West 34th and West 35th streets on May 5, police said.
Cops are now hoping to speak to eight men shown in an eyewitness video in connection with the attack, and have released a photo of a person of interest, but had not made any arrests as of Monday evening. Volunteers passed out fliers with the photo to the rush hour crowds on Monday night, hoping to find someone who might have seen what happened.
Quinn urged anyone who witnessed the attack — or, even better, took video footage of photographs of it — to contact the police.
"Not in our town," Quinn said of the attacks, which she called a hate crime. "If you do that, the good people of New York will come together with police and you will be apprehended."
She also praised the NYPD and Port Authority police for arresting two men in connection with an attack on two gay men near the 33rd Street PATH Station on Friday.
Quinn, who is a lesbian, said the assaults were an "attack on every LGBT person in the City of New York."
"Hate crimes instill fear not just on the victim, but on the entire LGBT community," she added.
Word of the attack — along with photos and video of the people on interest in the case — spread across social media last week, being shared by gay bars, anti-violence groups and even actor George Takei.
Porto and Atkins, still recovering from their injuries, thanked the thousands of people who have shown support for the pair, and they also called for unity within the LGBT community in the face of the attacks.
"We still really need solidarity," Porto said. "We still need to look out for each other."