Hate crimes task force arrests suspect in brutal NYC stabbing

NYPD hate crime page. Photo: www1.nyc.gov

New York City police have made an arrest in the stabbing attack of a gay man and his friend in Brooklyn, authorities said late Wednesday (Sept. 8, 2021).

Jonathan Carter, 31, of New York City was arrested and charged with attempted murder and robbery, among other violations connected to hate crimes, according to the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force.

Abimbola Adelaja and his friend were stabbed with a screwdriver and a glass bottle early Saturday, (Sept. 4, 2021) police said in a tweet, after two people approached them and made anti-gay statements. Both survived, Adelaja said in an Instagram post that showed what appeared to be the wounds he had sustained.

“My left lung was punctured,” wrote Adelaja, 36. “I was also stabbed in the head and lower back twice.” An unnamed friend, a co-victim according to Adelaja, had been stabbed six times. Both are in stable condition.

Adelaja and his friend had gone to buy food at a bodega at 2:10 a.m., when two men accosted them, triggering a verbal dispute that escalated into the attacks, according to police. The two assailants – which police allege included Carter – then stole an iPhone and cash from each victim before fleeing on foot. In a statement, police described the other assailant as a man with a dark complexion, medium build, and beard who was wearing a red baseball hat, a red T-shirt, red and white pants, and red sneakers.

A third individual helped the two assailants by holding down one of the victims. Police described that person as a man with a thin build and black braided hair who was wearing a red hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and black sneakers.

During the first six months of this year, the NYPD recorded 317 confirmed “bias type” incidents and 120 arrests. Both figures were more than double the tallies from the same period last year. This year’s numbers also represent 50% more incidents and 70% more arrests than the same period in 2019.

The majority of the uptick comes in hate crimes directed against Asian people, according to the data. But reported crimes against gay men – such as the one against Adelaja – have also significantly increased.

Law enforcement officials have suggested that hate crime episodes traditionally go underreported. Recent jumps in the number of complaints and arrests related to hate crimes could be due to a stronger tendency among victims to report the incidents, a strengthened awareness among authorities to better pursue perpetrators of hate crimes, or both.

Protesters on Wednesday filled the Brooklyn street near where Adelaja, a political and social activist, was attacked, waving rainbow-colored pride flags. Adelaja, who was there, said in an interview with CBS that he considers himself lucky to be alive. “I’m 220 pounds and 6-foot-2,” he said. “I did give them a fight, and if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be here.”



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