Chief Investigative Reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

Suspect Arrested in Attack on Gay Couple Leaving NYC Movie Theater

The 23-year-old suspect is accused of hate crime assault and harassment

Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013  |  Updated 8:57 AM EDT
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Gay Couple Attacked Leaving Manhattan Movie Theater

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Gay Couple Attacked Leaving Manhattan Movie Theater

Two gay men who were holding hands as they left a movie theater in Chelsea were attacked by a group of men who hurled anti-gay slurs, officials said. Gus Rosendale reports.
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Police say they've arrested a man in an alleged hate crime attack on two gay men who were holding hands as they left a movie theater in Chelsea last month.

Alfonso Lanier, 23, of Chelsea, was arrested Tuesday on hate crime charges of assault and aggravated harassment, police said. 

A phone number was not listed for Lanier; it wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney. 

The victims, a gay couple, had left the Chelsea Cinemas just after midnight on Aug. 14 when they were confronted by two men on West 24th Street.

One said "what are you looking at, you f------."

The attackers then started punching the victims while hurling anti-gay slurs. Police say four more men approached, who were believed to be friends of the suspects, and joined in the assault.

The victims were both taken to the hospital, one with a bruise to the head and the other with a wound under his bottom lip that required seven stitches. 

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