BUSHWICK — A Bushwick man was indicted on attempted murder charges Tuesday for an anti-gay shooting in hopes of sending a message about the borough's recent influx of hate crimes, the Brooklyn District Attorney's office announced.
DA Ken Thompson announced the indictment at Bushwick's Maria Hernandez Park in light of recent anti-LGBTQ hate crimes in the area, he said.
Matthew Smith, 21, was hit with 13 charges, including attempted murder as a hate crime, after shooting a gay man in the buttocks while yelling anti-gay slurs on Sept. 27 on Broadway near Putnam Avenue.
Smith, Cody Sigue, 22, and Tavon Johnson, 17, allegedly yelled "y'all f---ots, trannies" to the victim and two gay male friends, who were all dressed as women at the time of the incident.
"Here in Brooklyn, everyone...must be treated with dignity and respect," Thompson said. "The victims in this case had every right to believe they could walk safely in the streets of Brooklyn."
Smith's attorney did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Several alleged anti-gay incidents aside form the shooting also happened in Brooklyn over the last month.
A transgender woman, 28, was sent to the hospital with a traumatic brain injury after four men hurled a Plexiglas board at her head at Bushwick Avenue and Halsey Street earlier this month while yelling slurs, police said. A Crown Heights man was attacked with a hammer in an anti-gay crime that same week.
And, early on Sunday, two women who identify as lesbian were punched and thrown to the ground by a man in Bedford-Stuyvesant as he made "derogatory comments about their sexual orientation," police and Thompson said.
The charges against Smith, who faces up to 25 years in prison, should send a message that Brooklyn "will not tolerate hatred," Thompson said.
"We will stand to defend your civil rights," Thompson said.
Smith's next court date is Thursday. Police are still seeking information in other incidents.
In Bushwick, police have set up a car near Broadway and Putnam Avenue in hopes of deterring further crime in the area.