Taj Patterson, 22, was headed home to Fort Greene around 4:30 a.m. on Dec. 1 when he says more than a dozen ultra-Orthodox Jewish men began assaulting him on Flushing Ave. and yelling, “Stay down, f----t!”
“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 said. “I was alone. I was an easy target. I’m black. I’m gay, a whole slew of reasons.”
The New York City College of Technology student left for a fun night out with friends, and returned with a broken eye socket, a torn retina, blood clotting, and cuts and bruises to his knee and ankles.
He was rushed to Woodhull Hospital and is expected to undergo surgery to reattach his retina.
The NYPD confirmed Monday night that the hate crimes unit is investigating the assault.
Patterson was “highly intoxicated, uncooperative and incoherent,” after the assault, according to a police complaint — but he remembers the ringleader.
“There was a crowd around him, cheering him on and getting him rowdy, and he would grab me and push me against the wall,” Patterson said.
'I was alone. I was an easy target. I’m black. I’m gay, a whole slew of reasons.'
While the instigator was kicking him in the face, “he told me to ‘stay down, f----t, stay the f--- down,’ ” Patterson recalled. “And that’s really all I can remember of that.”
Evelyn Keys, an MTA bus driver, was rounding the corner of Flushing Ave. and Spencer St. when she saw the horrific attack unfold before her eyes.
“I get out of the bus and all these men were standing up straight around him,” says Keys. “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.’ ”
Patterson’s mother, Zahra Patterson, 52, said she now fears for her son’s safety.
“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?” she said. “You cannot attack people walking down the street.”
With Mark Morales
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/black-student-hasidic-men-attacked-williamsburg-article-1.1542946#ixzz2n7Laz1cu