Possible Anti-Gay Hate Crime Under Investigation in Chelsea

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Police are investigating a possible anti-gay hate crime that occurred shortly after midnight Wednesday morning in Chelsea.

The NYPD said two men shouted anti-gay slurs at two men walking hand-in-hand on 9th Avenue near West 24th Street.  Police said the confrontation escalated into an altercation, with four more men joining in, and the two victims were treated at a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

"We are certainly seeing more media attention to high-profile incidents of violence," said Sharon Staple, executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project. "But the reality is, this is violence that LGBT people experience every day in New York City, in New York State, and in the country."

She said her group has been receiving more reports of violence against LGBT people, "but not by the huge numbers that recent media attention might suggest."

She added that reports of anti-gay incidents spiked in mid-May, when a 32-year-old man, Mark Carson, was shot and killed in the West Village.

Staple is urging victims or witnesses to crime to call her group's confidential hotline at 212-714-1184 to file a report.