This week, two women were attacked in a Midtown East restaurant in what police say was an anti-gay attack. And the victims, a mother and daughter, believe that the attackers mistook them for a couple: "As soon as I sat down, I heard the word 'lesbian,'" victim Tiffany Santiago told the News. "My mother and I look very close in age. They must've thought we were on a date."
The 27-year-old Santiago and her 46-year-old mother were having dinner at BarKogi restaurant on Second Avenue near 51st Street just before 1 a.m. on Saturday, September 12th when the assault took place. The three suspects— two women and a man in their mid-30s—were sitting in a booth directly behind them. "I assumed they were just talking amongst themselves, having a conversation," Santiago said. "But after we finished ordering, I felt something hit my right shoulder."
The suspects started throwing balled-up bits of wet napkins, as well as lemon & lime wedges, at the women. They were also yelling obscenities and anti-gay slurs. Santiago's mother confronted them: "After this, the brunette gets up," Santiago said. "She said, 'I can take you, let’s go!' " The suspects then thew Santiago's mother to the ground, and a melee ensued.
You can see surveillance video of the suspect below.
"As I’m fighting to get to my mom, [the male suspect] pulls down my shirt," Santiago said. "[One of the female suspects] pushes me out of the way and then he throws me across the room. I’m now bleeding, my top is half off, and I get up and I can see he’s punching my mom in the arm and his girlfriend is on top of her."
Santiago needed several stitches to close the wound on her knee from the male suspect dragging her across the floor. Her mother also suffered cuts and bruises. You can see surveillance photos of the suspect below.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.