1 Charged With Hate Crime in Attack on NYC Gay Couple

Alfonso Lanier charged with hate crime

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 18, 2013 2:18 AM CDT

(Newser) – Police have arrested a 23-year-old man following a group attack last month on a gay couple in Manhattan. Alfonso Lanier has been charged with hate crime assault and aggravated harassment, CBS New York reports, and police are still looking for fellow attackers. After Peter Notman and Michael Felenchak left a movie theater in Chelsea, two men began shouting anti-gay slurs before punching and kicking them, according to police. Several more people then teamed up with the attackers.

"It was six of them against the two of us," says Notman. "I was hit with brass knuckles down the side of my face," he added. "I had contusions, had to have an MRI, and Michael received several stitches in his mouth where they punched us ... I was shocked this happened on the street I call home." The couple managed to call police and the attackers ran off. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and state Sen. Brad Hoylman condemned the attack, distributing flyers to raise awareness. "I am appalled by reports that two men were senselessly beaten in Chelsea simply because they were perceived to be gay," Quinn said, per CNN. The attack came amid a spate of violence against gay people in the city over the summer; CBS recounts the details. Another random—and fatal—attack is being treated as a hate crime.

A man has been arrested after allegedly attacking a gay couple.   (Shutterstock)
The skyline of lower Manhattan in seen past the East River in New York, Tuesday, June 11, 2013.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
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