Taj Patterson (pictured), a Black fashion student, claims a group of Hasidic men attacked him while yelling homophobic slurs in Brooklyn the New York Daily News reports.
Patterson was reportedly walking to his Fort Greene home after a party in Williamsburg December 1st, when he says more than 12 Hasidic men began hitting him on Flushing Avenue. They reportedly yelled, “Stay down, fa@@ot,” while pummeling him. The alleged attack happened around 4:30 a.m.
“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 said. “I was alone. I was an easy target. I’m Black. I’m gay, a whole slew of reasons.”
The alleged attack left Patterson with a broken eye socket, torn retina, blood clotting, and bruises to his knees and ankles, he says. Patterson was then reportedly taken to Woodhull Hospital, where he will have surgery to re-attach his retina. The NYPD has dispatched its Hate Crimes unit to investigate the attack.
Watch news coverage of this alleged incident here:
Though Patterson was heavily intoxicated during the assault, per a police complaint, he says he remembers the attack’s instigator. “There was a crowd around him, cheering him on and getting him rowdy, and he would grab me and push me against the wall,” he said.
As the instigator was kicking him in the face, Patterson says, “He told me to stay down, f—-t, stay the f*ck down. And that’s really all I can remember of that.”
MTA bus driver Evelyn Keys was rounding the corner of Flushing Avenue and Spencer Street, when she allegedly witnessed the attack in progress. “I get out of the bus and all these men were standing up straight around him,” Keys 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.’ ”
“I mean, we’ve been living in this community for close to 30 years, so you’re telling me my son can’t walk there anymore?” said Zahra Patterson, Taj’s mother. “You cannot attack people walking down the street.”