A black fashion student was allegedly attacked by a gang of more than a dozen Hasidic men while walking through a Brooklyn, N.Y., neighborhood after a night of partying, the Daily News reports.
Taj Patterson was headed home on Dec. 1 when, he claims, he was surrounded by the Orthodox Jewish men, who began assaulting him and yelling homophobic slurs.
According to the New York City College of Technology student, the ringleader of the group kept saying, “Stay down, f–got, stay the f–k down,” while kicking him in the face.
“I’m walking down some block by myself, and then, the next thing I know, I’m surrounded by a group of Hasidic Jewish men and they’re attacking me,” Patterson told the Daily News. “I was alone. I was an easy target. I’m black, I’m gay, a whole slew of reasons.”
Patterson suffered a broken eye socket, a torn retina, blood clotting and cuts and bruises on his legs, the news site reports. He will have to undergo surgery to reattach his retina.
A bus driver witnessed the attack and verified Patterson’s story. “I get out of the bus, and all these men were standing up straight around him,” the driver said. “Taj is laying down on his back. I went up to him, and he was in so much pain. He says, ‘I can’t see … I can’t breathe.’ “
Needless to say, Patterson’s mother is now worried for her son. “I mean, we’ve been living in this community for close to 30 years, so you’re telling me my son can’t walk there anymore?” his mother said. “You cannot attack people walking down the street.”
The NYPD hate crimes unit is investigating the attack.
Read more at the Daily News.