An interracial couple was brutally attacked in Long Island City early Saturday, leaving each with assorted injuries after three men jumped them as they left a bar.
The pair, along with a friend, were wrapping up celebrating Billie James-Vogel's 40th birthday around 1:30 a.m. at the bar SHI when three men in a nearby car started shouting homophobic and racial slurs. Jacob James-Vogel told NBC that when he attempted to ask why they were shouting, they were jumped, leaving him with a black eye and injured head and his wife with a broken toe and several bruises.
They added that when they attempted to solicit help from the restaurant at which they'd just dined, they were shunned. "They closed the door in my husband's face," Billie James-Vogel told the station.
Police arrested 28-year-old Nikolaos Katsos, who has been charged with assault and harassment, NY1 reports. But the arrest is cold comfort to the James-Vogels, who remain alarmed that such a thing could happen in their typically quiet neighborhood.
"In this day and age in this neighborhood, it just kills me," Billie James-Vogel recounted tearfully.
The attack comes just a week after a similar hate crime occurred in Chelsea, in which a gay couple was assaulted by a group of men hurling homophobic slurs.