A Long Island man has been charged with a hate crime after attacking two transgender women outside a McDonald’s in Queens Friday.
Police say Patrick O’Meara, 38, started shouting anti-LGBT slurs at the women as they tried to enter the fast food restaurant at around 4:30 pm. After calling them “b*tches” and “f*ggots,” he pushed one of them to the ground and punched the other.
He then briefly left the scene, only to return with a cane, which he used to hit one of the women in the hand. Both victims suffered several injuries, with one of the women being taken to a local hospital to treat a fractured ankle.
According to the criminal report, O’Meara later told police, “Those b*tches assaulted me, I’m pressing charges, f*ck you, you f*cking f*ggot.”
Maria Munoz, who saw the attack, said he was shirtless and yelling at people on the street prior to the assault.
“He was harassing everybody that was walking by but when the trans women walked by he clearly was infuriated,” Munoz said.
Bianey García, an organizer with Make the Road New York, denounced the attack on behalf of the group’s 20,000 members.
“We condemn this brutal hate attack and stand in solidarity with the survivors. We are horrified that transgender individuals in our community have suffered yet another hate attack,” she said.
“Transgender immigrant women like me are part of the heart and soul of our Jackson Heights, and we will not stand idly by as our community faces discrimination and violence.”
In January, O’Meara drunkenly stole a Volvo in Manhattan and was charged with grand larceny auto and driving while intoxicated. He has at least five other arrests, but they’re sealed, an NYPD spokesperson said.
The 38-year-old is currently being held on Rikers Island after being charged with a hate crime Saturday. He’s due back in court on March 31.
According to the U.S. Trans Survey, nearly 1 in 10 transgender people have been physically assaulted due to bias, with close to half experiencing sexual abuse. At least seven transgender women have been killed so far this year.
h/t: DNA Info