A man is charged with a hate crime in the beating of two transgender women in Jackson Heights on St. Patrick's Day, police said Saturday.
The women were approached by a man who called them gay slurs, threw one of them to the ground and punched her repeatedly, according to a criminal complaint. He left and came back with a cane, struck the other woman with the cane and punched her in the face, police said.
The women suffered cuts and one suffered a broken ankle, according to a criminal complaint. Both were taken to hospitals.
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Patrick O'Meara, 38, of Oakdale, New York, was arrested hours later and charged with assault and a hate crime. He has eight prior arrests, police said.
O'Meara was arraigned Saturday and bond was set at $5,000 or $2,500 cash bail. His next court appearance is March 31.
It was not clear whether O'Meara has an attorney.
Bianey García, LGBTQ Justice organizer at Make the Road New York, said: "We are horrified that transgender individuals in our community have suffered yet another hate attack."
Garcia continued, "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."