THE BRONX — A transgender couple was trailed for two blocks by a hate-spewing bigot wielding an aluminum baseball bat near their Morris Heights apartment in what police are investigating as a hate crime, the victims said.
Andi Dier, 24, and her girlfriend, Danielle Rye were returning home from a McDonald’s on University Avenue near West 176th Street around 11:30 p.m. Sunday when they first encountered the suspect and two of his pals, Dier recounted.
“He was checking us out — and he was mad he didn’t know exactly who he was checking out,” she told DNAinfo. “He got embarrassed. He said something along the lines of, ‘How do you enjoying deceiving men?’”
Dier said she and Rye then tried to quickly walk away but that the suspect began following them.
“He was making all these threats, saying, ‘I’m gonna shoot you,’” Dier recalled. “He said, ‘My bullet’s going to reach you faster than the cops.’ He had a metal bat and was dragging it across the ground and hitting it against the wall doing all these intimidating things.”
The suspect then followed the couple all the way to Rye’s apartment on Nelson Avenue while continuing his hate-filled rant, Dier said.
“He called us f----s, everything,” she said. “If we didn't run away as fast as we could, he would've murdered us. He wouldn't leave us alone."
The NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force is investigating the incident.
Dier, who works for a nonprofit environmental company, said she generally likes the neighborhood and feels like she and Rye have been well received by locals.
But she’s struggling to sleep knowing the man is still on the loose.
“Until this guy is off the streets,” she said, “I just don’t feel safe in this place.”