By Danny Schrafel
A Huntington Station man is accused of punching a gay man in the face and shouting an anti-gay slur at him, Suffolk County Police said.
According to officials, Marlen Nahun, 35, of Huntington Station, was either in or outside 1541 New York Ave. when he attacked the man at 9:20 p.m. Feb. 10.
Nahun allegedly punched the victim in the head and face, causing “multiple cuts and scratches,” and also pulled the victim’s hair out of his head, the Suffolk County DA’s office said.
The attack “had to do with his [the complainant’s] sexual orientation,” police said.
According to a criminal complaint, Nahun allegedly called the victim a “f----t” during the course of the attack. The complainant identifies as a gay man, the DA’s office said.
Nahun was arrested nearby, in front of 1533 New York Ave. He was charged with second-degree aggravated harassment related to race or religion, an A misdemeanor; sexual orientation is included in the language of the statute.
Attorney information was not immediately available for Nahun. He was released on his own recognizance, and a temporary order of protection was issued. Nahun is due back in court March 17.
Reports of anti-gay violence are uncommon in recent years in Huntington.
Retired NYPD Detective Thomas Verni, who served as a community liaison between the NYPD and New York City’s LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community for more than a decade, said it appears that, so far, the Huntington Station incident is likely an isolated one.
“If this was happening once a week, twice a month, especially if it’s happening in a specific area, antennas will start to go up that this is some sort of habitual occurrence, but I don’t think that’s the case here,” he said.
Anyone with information in this case or others can anonymously call the Suffolk County Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-220-TIPS (8477).