Brandon McNamara, the suspect in a gay bashing in Brooklyn’s hip Williamsburg district, faces up to 15 years in prison for hate crimes he allegedly committed in late September.
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said McNamara was arraigned earlier this week and charged with “second-degree assault as a hate crime, third-degree menacing as a hate crime, second-degree aggravated harassment and other related offenses.”
“This defendant allegedly assaulted an innocent couple simply because he perceived they were gay,” Gonzalez said in a statement. “Crimes that target individuals because of their sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or other identity are a threat to everything we stand for here in Brooklyn. The defendant has now been indicted and we intend to seek justice for the victims.”
On Sept. 23, McNamara, 25, is alleged to have chased two gay men after they left Metropolitan, a popular Williamsburg gay bar. After allegedly uttering a gay slur, McNamara then “punched the [30-year-old] in the face which caused him to lose consciousness,” NYPD Sergeant Jessica McRorie told NBC News via email prior to McNamara’s arrest. “He then grabbed the 29-year-old and threw him against a tree; also rendering him unconscious.” The two victims also suffered broken bones.
McNamara, who resides in Queens, left the scene, and police tried to find him by circulating an image of him taken by a bystander. On Sept. 26, McNamara turned himself into authorities.
Prior to the alleged attack, McNamara worked as a senior consultant at EY, but in a September statement posted to Twitter, the firm wrote, “Brandon McNamara has been suspended from the Firm pending the active investigation of this matter.”
McNamara is due in court on January 16.
Hate crimes against LGBTQ people continued to rise in 2017, jumping 3 percent from the year prior, according to hate crimes data released by the FBI earlier this week. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people make up more than 16 percent of all hate crime victims, according to the FBI’s report, despite comprising an estimated 4.5 percent of the general population. Of all hate crimes targeting LGBTQ people, roughly 60 percent targeted gay men.