A Brooklyn man says he was attacked and robbed on the Coney Island boardwalk last month while also being called gay slurs.
According to police, the incident happened on the West 19th section of the boardwalk. Jawhar Edwards says that on Nov. 4, just after midnight, he was feeding two homeless people before they began attacking him.
A picture taken after the incident shows swelling in his eye. He says he was beaten with a metal pole, repeatedly called gay slurs and had his phone, walker and money stolen from him.
He says he now has to get surgery on his eye to fix the three broken bones in his eye socket.
On Friday, he says he was overwhelmed with emotion and even cried while standing with Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus and community advocates to denounce what they’re calling a hate crime against a member of the LGBTQ community.
Police say they are not investigating the incident as a hate crime but that anti-LGBTQ cases have gone up 193% from last year to this year.
"This shouldn't have to happen to nobody. Man, female, anybody. I need help. I need services. This has to stop,” said Edwards.
He says one of the people who attacked him has been arrested and charged with second-degree robbery.