A 33-year-old Florida man has been charged with a hate crime after he allegedly assaulted a teenage boy he thought was gay.
According to Utica Observer-Dispatch, Stephen Gilligan of New Port Richey was charged with third-degree felony assault after the incident, which took place after midnight on March 6.
Herkimer County District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter said on Monday that Gilligan’s attack has been deemed a hate crime based on his “belief or perception” that the teen he attacked was gay.
The boy was walking along Herkimer’s North Main Street when Gilligan and a carload of others drove by. The car doubled back and Gilligan attacked the teen, whose clothes reportedly made Gilligan believe that he was gay.
The two were not familiar prior to the incident, said Carpenter.
The teenager was not seriously injured. No one else was charged in the attack.
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