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Man punched in apparent Midtown bias attack, says cops ignored him

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Darla Miles has the story with the victim.

The NYPD is investigating after a man reported being the victim of a hate crime in Manhattan and was then victimized again when he says police ignored him.

The young man, Omar Villalobos, suffered a gash to his face by a man who shouted a gay slur before he started swinging. And only after he posted about the incident on Facebook did it get the attention he believes he deserved.

"I was in front of six officers and I got help through Facebook the next day," he said.

Villalobos had a gash above his right eye, skin hanging down, white shirt soaked in blood, but he said he couldn't get the time of day.

"One of the guys goes, 'Does it look like we're here to help? Find someone who cares. We're here for terrorist attacks, not homeless people,'" he said.

It was a response that felt like a punch to gut, right after being popped dead in the face around 5 p.m. Saturday on 42nd Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues. Villalobos says he spotted a group of officers halfway down the block and went to them for help.

"I felt like I was intruding their conversation," he said.

The 25-year-old was with a friend when they briefly stopped on the steps of the New York Public Library. Villalobos said the suspect came up from behind, called him a gay slur and then hit him square in the eye, opening a gash that required six stitches.

"I'm like, who's talking to me?" he said. "So the moment I looked up, before I could even take a full look at him, he just hit me right in the face."

The NYPD is now investigating both the assault and their officers' actions, saying "Hate Crime Task Force is investigating, and IAB is looking into the incident."

"(The suspect) didn't run, he just stood there," Villalobos said. "So to know that you're standing here bleeding in front of police officers, and your attack is smoking a cigarette. He got away with it."

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).
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newsbias crimehate crimenypdNew York City
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