Man Threatening To Kill Gays With A Box Cutter Evades Police In Penn Station

Anti-gay assaults in New York City have been on the rise since 2013.

The NYPD is searching for a suspect who allegedly attacked two gay men with a box cutter on a busy sidewalk outside Penn Station Monday afternoon.

Police said the suspect approached two men in their early 20s as they were walking down Eighth Avenue near 33rd Street around 1:30pm and began yelling homophobic slurs in a "completely unprovoked" attack.

The suspect reportedly pulled a box cutter and threatened to kill the two men after they approached him and said they were calling 911.

Police described the suspect, who was captured on CCTV footage, as "a man in his 40s, 5 feet 7 inches, 180 pounds, with dreads; last seen wearing a green shirt, dark colored pants and glasses."

CBS New York reports the incident won't help a growing concern among commuters in the neighborhood who view the "increase in the number of homeless and emotionally unstable people" around Penn Station as "threatening" or unsafe.

Mayor Bill de Blasio balked at the notion during a press conference Monday, claiming the city has a handle on the homelessness epidemic and "are already familiar with most of the [homeless] individuals" living around Penn Station.

The attack at Penn Station follows another anti-gay attack in the neighborhood on Sunday, July 17, when a gang of five men yelling anti-gay slurs beat a man coming out of a gay bar in Hell's Kitchen, breaking his leg in two places.

Since 2013, anti-gay attacks have been on a steady rise in New York City. The number nearly doubled between 2012 and 2013.

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