Police are looking into whether an openly gay journalist who was knocked unconscious a block from his home near Times Square last weekend was beaten in a bias attack, the NYPD says.
The department's hate crimes task force is investigating the beating of journalist Randy Gener, an NYPD spokesman said. The 46-year-old was walking home from the after-party for a play Jan. 17 when he was punched in the face at 53rd Street and Seventh Avenue.
Police released a sketch of the attacker and say he left the scene in a four-door car. The suspect is in his 20s, police say.
Gener, a veteran arts journalist who has worked for several national media outlets, suffered head trauma in the attack and doctors had to remove a portion of his skull to allow his brain to swell, according to family members. He has been in and out of consciousness for nearly a week and it could take him more than six months to recover.
Family and friends of the journalist held vigils Sunday at the scene of the attack and Monday at that Philippine Consulate General on Fifth Avenue. They said they think the assault was a bias attack because Gener's wallet and cell phone were not stolen. They said they have many questions about how and why he was attacked.
"We just don't know -- was he punched in the head?" said Steve Nisbet, Gener's husband. "We just don't know ... that's the weird thing."
Police are looking for more people who saw the attack. If you have information, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS or www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.