NEW YORK (AP) - Hours after New Yorkers rallied in response to a spate of gay-bashing that's resulted in one death and fueled concern about hate crimes, there were two more reports of possible anti-gay attacks on Manhattan streets, authorities said Tuesday. In one, a 45-year-old man was attacked late Monday in the East Village by a drinking companion who yelled an anti-gay slur and knocked him unconscious, police said. A suspect was being sought.
In the second, two men were walking in lower Manhattan at about 5 a.m. Tuesday when two other men yelled anti-gay insults in Spanish and attacked them. The pair were arrested on hate crime assault charges. The reports come as the New York Police Department increased a presence in several Manhattan neighborhoods through the end of June, which is Gay Pride Month. At a police headquarters briefing, Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the violence deplorable.
"We are a place that celebrates diversity, a place where people from around the world come to live free of prejudice and persecution, and hate crimes like these are an offense against all we stand for as a city," the mayor said. Mark Carson was killed Saturday as he walked with a companion through Greenwich Village. Police say a man charged with murder as a hate crime shot Carson in the middle of one of the city's most progressive neighborhoods.
Carson's shooting came after other attacks fueled by anti-gay animus in recent weeks, authorities said. Those include a report last month of a man making anti-gay remarks and attacking a woman with a ketchup bottle at a Village diner and of two men walking arm-in-arm near Madison Square Garden being jumped by a group of men on May 5, police said.
On Monday, Carson's killing drew thousands of people to the scene of the crime for a march intended to restore a sense of safety to one of the nation's most gay-friendly neighborhoods. Among those leading the march was Christine Quinn, the city's first openly gay City Council speaker. In a statement on Tuesday, she expressed shock and anger over latest incidents. "We will not retreat in fear," she said. "New Yorkers are galvanized to take action and determined to stand up in the face of hatred."
Despite a sharp spike in reports of anti-gay crimes - 29 so far this year, compared with 14 during the same period in 2012 - investigators don't see a pattern to the attacks, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said at the briefing. And there was no indication that the two most recent reports were related to the march on Monday, he added. "The spikes we experience from time to time may be related to increased reporting after a particularly terrible attack, but whatever the reason, we have some of the best detectives in the world assigned to finding the assailants," he said.