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Hate Crimes Task Force arrests 13-year-old boy in anti-gay assault in Astoria, three teens remain at large : NYPD

A 13-year-old boy was arrested and charged with hate crime assault for an anti-gay attack in Astoria late last month. Three other suspects remain at large. Photos courtesy of the NYPD

Mar. 11, 2024 By Bill Parry

A 13-year-old boy was arrested by the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force and booked at the 114th Precinct in Astoria on Friday, Mar. 8, where he was charged with a slew of crimes for an incident that occurred on the night of Wednesday, Feb. 28.

An NYPD spokesman could not provide details on how the arrest went down because the arrest report had been sealed due to the minor’s age.

What is known is the youngster is accused of being one of the four teenage boys who allegedly assaulted two gay men who were walking on Broadway near 33rd Street in Astoria at around 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 28 and began throwing hard objects at them while shouting anti-LGBTQIA+ statements before they began punching one of the 36-year-old men repeatedly in his face, causing swelling and bruising. The assailants then ran off in an unknown direction, police said.

The 13-year-old boy was charged with eight counts of hate crime assault, two counts of aggravated harassment, assault, hate crime menacing and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, the NYPD spokesman said.

The other three suspects remain at large. The NYPD released surveillance video of the three suspects loitering in front of a smoke shop and described them as having light complexions and are believed to be in their mid-teens. One wore a gray hooded sweatshirt with GAP across the chest in black letters, a black bandana, blue jeans and white flip-flops.

The second assailant wore a gray hoodie, blue jeans, and a white backpack with black trim and the third teen wore a black hooded sweatshirt over a white t-shirt, black pants and white sneakers.

Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, or on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter) @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.

Through Mar. 3, the 114th Precinct has reported 107 assaults so far in 2024, 40 more than the 67 reported at the same point last year, an increase of 59-7%, according to the most recent CompStat report. The 114th Precinct also reported two hate crimes at the same point last year, the current investigation is the first hate crime reported in the confines of the 114th Precinct so far in 2024.

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