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Sun May 26, 2013, 12:23 PM


Manhattan Teen Charged With City's Latest Alleged Anti-Gay Bias Attack

A Manhattan teenager is facing hate crime charges after he allegedly assaulted a co-founder of a local gay rights group in Hell's Kitchen yesterday. Manuel Riquelme, 19, is charged with hate crime and aggravated harassment after allegedly hitting Eugene Lovendusky, 28, a Queens resident and co-founder of the activist group Queer Rising. Police say the alleged assault took place at 3 a.m. Saturday on West 42nd Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues.

At the time, authorities say Lovendusky and his boyfriend and another friend were leaving the XL nightclub and walking towards the nearby subway stop. Police say a group of nine teenagers passed the group of three men and started calling them anti-gay slurs. Riquelme allegedly slapped Lovendusky in the face and knocked off the victim's glasses, according to police.

After the alleged incident, Lovendusky called police and officers found the teens in a pizzeria at West 40th Street and Ninth Avenue. Lovendusky did not seek medical attention. The incident is being investigated as a bias assault, according to police. None of the other teenagers who accompanied Riquelme are facing charges, according to police.

The NYPD says there has been an increase of anti-gay attacks in the city this year. This latest alleged bias assault came almost exactly two weeks after Mark Carson, 32, was shot once in the face and killed while walking with another man through the West Village. The alleged gunman Elliot Morales, 33, shouted anti-gay slurs at Carson before he fired his revolver, according to police.


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