On Friday, the NYPD announced the arrest of seven suspects in hate crime attacks in the Bronx. The attacks, possibly part of a gang initiation, occurred last Sunday. Two 17 year old males and one 30 year old male were attacked, held against their will and beaten by the suspects. The victims were all specifically targeted because they are gay. Although the NYPD successfully apprehended seven of the attackers, two suspects remain at large.

Speaker Quinn was joined by local community members and leaders to flyer in the Bronx neighborhood where the crimes occurred in an effort to find the last two suspects.

“These attacks are appalling and are even more despicable because the victims were clearly targeted in acts of hate simply because they are gay. The cowardly few who committed these crimes do not represent New Yorkers and our community will not be cowed by such violence,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “We’re asking anyone with information on the two assailants still at large to call the NYPD immediately with the information at 1-800-CrimeStoppers.”

“All New Yorkers should be saddened by the heinous events that took place this past Sunday. No one, regardless of race, creed, religion, or sexuality, should be victimized this way and I stand in solidarity with all New Yorkers in the condemnation of what took place,” said Council Member Fernando Cabrera.

“We are here today to send a clear message: acts of hatred have no place in our city,” said Council Member Annabel Palma, Chair of the City Council’s Bronx Delegation. “These incidents are both inexcusable and heartbreaking. Bias attacks against any member of our Bronx community can not, and will not, be tolerated. I am committed to do everything and anything I can to make sure we prevent terrible acts like these from occurring again.”

“The news of these hate crimes sadden us all, and I am grateful that the NYPD has moved so quickly against those responsible for these homophobic attacks. Bronxites will not tolerate any form of bigotry in our borough, and we stand together as 1.4 million residents to condemn these actions and to oppose hatred in all its forms,” said Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

“We are saddened by these horrible and senseless acts of hate and violence and thankful that the NYPD is working to apprehend the perpetrators. These terrible crimes highlight why we need more outreach in our schools, more safe spaces for LGBT youth and adults and programming to combat violence,” said Dirk McCall, Executive Director of the Bronx Community Pride Center.

“The New York City Anti-Violence Project is horrified by the reports of the brutal targeting of gay men in the Bronx. This violence, reported to be motivated by anti-LGBT bias, is unacceptable,” said Sharon Stapel, Executive Director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project. “In these past few weeks we have seen increasingly disturbing attacks against LGBT people simply for being who they are. This is not a gay issue or a straight issue, it is everyone’s issue and we ask everyone to stand with us and demand that this violence ends. AVP is a resource for all communities and we encourage anyone who has experienced violence to call our 24-hour bilingual (English/Spanish) hotline at 212.714.1141.”