Cuomo directs Hate Crimes Task Force to investigate alleged anti-gay MTA bus attack

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday directed New York’s Hate Crimes Task Force to investigate an incident in which an MTA bus passenger allegedly punched a teen after making anti-gay remarks.

The 19-year-old was riding an M23 bus traveling near West 23rd Street and 6th Avenue in Chelsea around 4:50 p.m. on Nov. 22 when a man he didn’t know approached him and started verbally harassing him, the NYPD said Sunday night.

“You have long hair. I don’t like people like you,” the man said, according to police.

The man also said “I hate gay people,” the New York Post reported.

When the teen got off the bus, the man followed him and punched him in the face, the NYPD said.

The man got back on the bus after the attack and rode off, the department said. The teen’s head was bruised, but he refused medical attention at the scene, police said.

In a statement released Tuesday, Cuomo called the alleged incident "downright disturbing."

"This violent attack, which targeted a teenager as they were exiting the bus, is repugnant to everything we stand for in New York, and I am directing the New York State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to immediately offer assistance investigating this cowardly act," he said.

"Make no mistake: we do not tolerate bias attacks in the Empire State, and we will always defend New Yorkers who are targeted for being who they are," he added.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.