A night out ended in a beating and injury for a Brooklyn-based gay fashion student.
22-year-old New York City College of Technology fashion student Taj Patterson tells the New York Daily News that he was gay-bashed and assaulted by more than a dozen ultra-Orthodox Hasidic men on December 1st.
The attack happened as he headed through Williamsburg back home to Fort Greene, Brookyn after a night of partying.
“I’m walking down some block by myself and then the next thing I know, I’m surrounded by a group of Hasidic Jewish men and they’re attacking me,” Patterson recalled. “I was alone. I was an easy target. I’m black. I’m gay, a whole slew of reasons.”
Though a filed police report mentioned that Patterson was “highly intoxicated, uncooperative and incoherent” during and after the assault, he insists that the attack was unprovoked.
“He told me to ‘stay down, faggot, stay the f— down,’ ” Patterson told the Daily News. “And that’s really all I can remember of that.”
Patterson’s story was confirmed by MTA bus driver Evelyn Keys, who saw the attack occur. “I get out of the bus and all these men were standing up straight around him,” she said. “Taj is laying down on his back. I went up to him and he was in so much pain. He says, ‘I can’t see . . . I can’t breathe.’ ”
The NYPD has confirmed that their hate crimes unit is investigating the assault, which resulted in a broken eye socket and a torn retina for Patterson among other, less severe injuries.