LONG ISLAND CITY (PIX11) – This past weekend’s alleged hate crime that took place just yards away from Shi, a popular Asian-themed restaurant in Long Island City, comes days after two men were attacked in Chelsea near 24th Street and 9th Avenue.
Councilman Peter Vallone is the chair of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, and according to him, “There are haters out there.”
Councilman Vallone on Monday told PIX 11 News that there is an approximate 10% uptick in hate crimes specifically targeting members of the LGBT community, adding that, “The problem I think overall is, the fact that we just don’t have the deterrent out there that we used to. People are going to hate, we have to stop them from acting on that hate.”
However what happened along Center Blvd in Long Island City early Saturday morning, a neighborhood that by day is filled with dozens of baby strollers, is what had the 108th flashing badges and asking questions on Monday afternoon.
They were back at the scene today, 24 hours after the hate crime unit showed up, to talk to Shi’s owner as well as witnesses and try to identify what happened to the customers that had just exited his restaurant.
According to the NYPD a biracial couple along with their gay friend walked out of Shi early Saturday morning. Then a few seconds later, a slur was spewed by another group and an attack erupted. The husband according to one eyewitness that PIX 11 News spoke with was laid out yards from the front door. The wife and friend ran to ask for help from the restaurant after escaping the melee but they were turned away.
Now keep in mind this is the restaurant that the trio had just gone to for a special dinner. The occasion they were celebrating? A birthday.
And yet it is alleged that no one from Shi wanted to help.
Now the restaurant owner did not want to go on camera with PIX 11 News only saying that it never happened. Adding that no one who was bloody came to them asking for help.
Israel Miranda, the President of the EMT’s union, has a different story. One that potentially corroborates the couples allegations and it comes directly from the paramedics who treated the couple, “Well what I was told by my members, they went to a job where there was an injury. There were two civilians that were bleeding pretty badly and were not let in back into the restaurant.”
The paramedics then saved one of the victims from further injuries when one of the thugs returned to the scene after the cops left, “The assailant came back and tried to pass himself off as a police officer. When they asked him for ID he became very belligerent and tried push his way through. He was held back when members called to the police department to return to the scene.”
The NYPD says they have made no arrests for the impersonation of a member of law enforcement, only assault.
The investigation is still ongoing.