2009-10-09 / Front Page

Seagirt Boulevard Hate Crime

By Howard Schwach

ARockaway man was the victim of a hate crime last week, when he was accosted by a group of young men who called him names and exposed themselves to him, officials and eyewitnesses say.

The man, who asked to be identified only as "victim" because he is afraid of being beaten by the gang for telling his story, said that a group of 15-20 teens and young men surrounded him on Seagirt Boulevard and Beach 25 Street calling him "Faggot," and chanting "All faggots must die."

Eyewitnesses say that the man, who has a residence in the area, was coming home from work in Manhattan at about 5 p.m. on Thursday, October 1 when he was surrounded by the gang, all of whom were wearing black and gray clothing.

"They surrounded him and told him that faggots must die and that white people should get out of the hood," one eyewitness said. "One of the young men exposed himself and told the victim to do a sexual act on him. It was terrifying, but there was nothing anybody could do. There were too many of them, and one of them showed him that he had a gun."

The victim said that he had been taunted and teased previously.

"It's escalating," he said. "First they teased me and then the group got bigger and their taunts began to get more specific. This time, they showed me a gun and one of them exposed himself."

The victim said that he has not yet filed a report with the police, because he fears that the gang will retaliate against him if he does.

He agreed to comment for this paper after a reporter tracked him down only because he believes his story needs to be told, he said.

Eyewitnesses corroborated his story to The Wave, however.

"I like living here. It's great by the beach," the victim said. "I only hope that I can go on living here."

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