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Police Seeking Suspect in Possible Hate Attack on Gay Journalist, NYPD Says

By Mathew Katz | January 27, 2014 10:01am | Updated on January 27, 2014 2:42pm
  The alleged attacker fled in a gray Nissan with Mississippi plates, police said. 
Police Seeking Suspect in Possible Hate Crime
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MIDTOWN — The NYPD is seeking a man in his 20s in connection with a possible hate attack on a gay journalist in Midtown last week.

The suspect punched theater journalist Randy Gener, 46, in the face at about 3 a.m. on Jan. 24, near 840 Seventh Ave. and 54th Street, knocking him to the ground and causing him to hit his head on the sidewalk, police said.

The suspect then fled in a gray four-door Nissan with Mississippi plate number KAT397 police said. Authorities described him as standing approximately 6 feet tall, weighing 160 pounds, with short black hair. He was last seen wearing black jeans and a black jacket, police said. 

The suspect was with another man and two women, police sources said. After he allegedly punched Gener, one of the women shouted "What the f--- did you do that for?" before they fled, according to sources.

A nearby cab driver took down the Nissan's license plate number, and it was last seen going over the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge shortly afterward, sources said.

Gener was taken to St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital, where he is in stable condition, police said. According to Gener's sister, Jessica Driessler, he suffered a skull fracture that required brain surgery.

The NYPD is investigating the attack as a possible hate crime, police sources said. 

Gener, who has written about theater and culture for National Public Radio, The New York Times and The Village Voice, had left the opening night party for Broadway's "Machinal" when he was attacked, his friends said.

Friends and family set up a YouCaring fundraising page for Gener in the hopes of raising money to pay for his medical expenses. The page had raised over $31,000 from 575 supporters on Monday morning.

The New York City Anti-Violence Project issued a community alert about the attack and planned a Community Safety Night in Hell's Kitchen on Friday in response. 

Supporters were also planning a "prayer rally" at the Philippine Consultate General, 556 Fifth Ave., at 7 p.m. on Monday night.

Anyone with information about the attack is asked to call NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 800-577-TIPS.