NEW YORK - The NYPD says it is searching for suspects wanted in connection to a pair of suspected anti-LGBTQ incidents in New York City.
Authorities have released photos and videos related to the late June incidents, which are being investigated as hate crimes.
In the first incident, which happened on June 21 at around 6 p.m. in Crown Heights, a man is seen on a scooter rolling up to a Pride flag hanging from Camera Ready Kutz, an LGBTQ barbershop on Utica Avenue.
The man tears the flag down and throws it to the ground, before fleeing the scene on the blue scooter.
"Every time we’re oppressed, every time we’re knocked down, every time we’re shamed, we’ve just got to keep fighting the good fight; because that’s all we can do," Ednita Lee, who works at the barbershop, told FOX 5 NY. "The next day I came in on my day off to hang it back up, so, you know, we didn’t let it keep us down too long at all really."
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In a second incident, a suspect allegedly struck a 22-year-old man on the side of the head and made anti-gay statements around 1 a.m. on Sixth Avenue in Greenwich Village. The suspect then fled the scene.
According to a Go Fund Me page set up for the victim, his jaw was broken in two places.
Openly gay City Council Member Daniel Dromm says he fears for his own safety.
"It’s something that we as LGBTQ people have learned to live with. We always have to look over our shoulder when we’re walking down the street just to be sure that we’re safe," he adds.
Back at Camera Ready Kutz, Lee says her boss is asking whoever’s responsible to come forward.
"They would much rather have him sit in their chair, give him a cut, and just try and get to the bottom of what made him feel like he needed to do that to someone else’s property; What they’re going through, you know?" Lee said.
Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or on Twitter @NYPDTips.
Police say all calls are strictly confidential.