The defendant allegedly shouted anti-gay slurs while beating the victim unconscious

photo credit: BLETransit Network

A 27-year-old Flatbush man was indicted for allegedly beating a woman unconscious while shouting homophobic slurs on a Brooklyn-bound Q train, said the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office in a statement. The defendant Antoine Thomas was arraigned on Monday before the Brooklyn Supreme Court and charged with second-degree and third-degree assault as a hate crime.

On May 20, Thomas boarded a Brooklyn-bound Q train at Union Square. He took a seat next to the victim and her girlfriend when he allegedly began shouting anti-gay slurs. As the train made a sudden stop, he aggressively bumped into the victim. When the train arrived at Dekalb Avenue station, Thomas allegedly punched the victim in the face. He then attempted to leave the train, but was arrested at the station after the conductor called the police.

“Brooklyn is a model of inclusion and diversity where bias and bigotry will not be tolerated,’ said Eric Gonzales, Brooklyn’s acting district attorney. “This defendant’s alleged actions were an attack on everyone’s right to be who they are, and to love whom they choose. ”

The unconscious victim was taken to New York Presbyterian Hospital where she was treated for a concussion, nasal fracture, a contusion and eye lacerations.

The case was investigated by New York City Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force. Thomas is due back in court on September 8, 2017; he faces up to 15 years in prison.

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