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Prosecutors Won't Charge Anyone Else in Anti-Gay Attack at MSG, Victim Says

By Mathew Katz | March 19, 2014 9:17am
 Their story was shared by actor George Takei, along with thousands of others.
Nick Porto and Kevin Atkins
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MIDTOWN — More than 10 months have passed since Kevin Atkins and Nick Porto were brutally beaten by a group of New York Knicks fans shouting anti-gay slurs near Madison Square Garden, but the pair still don't know who attacked them.

Police have arrested only one of the alleged attackers — Martin Martinez, 25, who was nabbed last October — and the assistant district attorney working on the case recently told Porto that there were no plans to arrest anyone else, Porto said.

"They're putting it all on him instead of going after his friends," said Porto, 27, a fashion designer who was left with a broken nose and severe headaches after the broad-daylight beating on May 5. "It scares me that this sort is thing is OK, that the others can get away with it."

People of Interest in Midtown Attack
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Martinez was initially arrested on a felony assault charge, but the DA's office decided to drop the charges down to attempted assault as a hate crime and aggravated harassment, which are misdemeanors, records show.

An NYPD spokesman said the investigation is ongoing and that police are still hoping to find and question eight people of interest who are shown in a video taken on the day of the assault.

A police source said that Martinez, who is accused of punching Porto in the face and shoving him to the ground, refused to give investigators information about the other alleged attackers.

Martinez and his attorney could not be reached for comment.

A spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney's office declined to discuss the case.

Porto and Atkins, who live in Brooklyn, were walking arm-in-arm down Eighth Avenue when they were set upon by a group of men wearing Knicks jerseys who kicked and punched them, police said. Atkins, 22, who works in reality TV, was left with a broken wrist. 

Porto said he's suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder since the attack and fears walking down the street alone. Porto and Atkins also broke up after months of trying to deal with the pain of the attack, Porto said. 

Now, Porto hopes to identify the other attackers himself, so he can sue them for civil damages in the hopes of paying for counseling he cannot afford on his own, he said.

But Porto said it hasn't been easy and that the District Attorney's office has done little to help.

"They don't call me back. They can't implicate these men in what they did," he said. "If I can't figure out who [Martinez's] friends are, they're going to walk away and justice won't be done."