A man from Long Island who beat up transgender women on Friday in the front of a Queens, New York, McDonald’s was arrested and is being charged with hate crimes.
Reported by DNA Info, Patrick O’Meara, 38, had reportedly been heckling random passersby before spotting the women, that were walking into a McDonald’s in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens on Friday afternoon. He allegedly said they were “bitches” as well as “faggots,” then threw one of the women on the ground prior to punching and kicking her.
The news outlet reported that O’Meara “briefly left the scene and returned with a cane,” that he then used to beat the second woman, resulting in a cut on her hand. Of the two victims, one had fractured an ankle throughout the incident, stated the report.
As he was being arrested, O’Meara said to the police that the women “assaulted” him, however one witness denied that account. “He was harassing everybody that was walking by, but when the trans women walked by he clearly was infuriated,” said Maria Munoz to DNA Info.
O’Meara was then charged for “assault as a hate crime” and is currently held in Rikers Island. He will appear in court on March 31.
Violence towards transgender people has been extremely underreported, however advocates continue to fight in order to ensure that victims don’t vanish, said Make the Road New York organizer and transgender woman Bianey García to NBC News 4.
“We are horrified that transgender individuals in our community have suffered yet another hate attack,” said García. “We will continue to organize in our communities and send the message that Jackson Heights and New York City must welcome and embrace all of us, and that hate has no place in our neighborhood and our city.”