Stamford police search for man accused in possible hate crime - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Stamford police search for man accused in possible hate crime

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The unidentified woman was attacked on Spring Street on Sunday, police said. (WFSB) The unidentified woman was attacked on Spring Street on Sunday, police said. (WFSB)
STAMFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Police are investigating an attack on a woman, who identified as LGBT, in Stamford over the weekend.

The unidentified woman was attacked on Spring Street on Sunday, police said.

Investigators called the incident “a heinous senseless attack.”

Police said the attack happened on Spring Street as the bars were letting out.

The victim was with a group of women when a man approached.

"He came up and tried to strike up a conversation with one of the girls," said Stamford Police Lt. Diedrich Hohn.

But in a matter of seconds, he became the prime suspect in the second hate crime the city has seen in the last four weeks.

"One of the girls then said that she's of an alternative lifestyle and we're not interested in his advances. Some words were exchanged, he made a derogatory comment towards the female and he punched her in the face, knocking her down to the ground," Hohn said.

Police were actively looking for cameras in the area. Investigators have taken statements from the victim and her friends.

“This activity will not be tolerated and it is a top priority,” police told Eyewitness News.

Mayor David Martin called the incident "a deplorable attack," which has no place in Stamford. 

"Due to the heinousness of this attack, our police department is treating the investigation seriously," Martin said in a statement on Tuesday. "Every person in our city should be able to walk down any street and not be viciously attacked because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or any other reason."

Martin said the city has "taken steps to ensure that our community is inclusive of all identities, backgrounds, religions and races."

"We have named two LGBT liaisons for the community, who are here to help the LGBT community if they feel that they have been discriminated against. Assistant Chief Tom Wuennemann is our police liaison, and Deputy Corporation Counsel Vikki Cooper is the Mayor’s and City’s liaison. I encourage the LGBT community to reach out to our liaisons if you have concerns or need a resource. They are also helping to make Stamford a more open and inclusive community,"  Martin said. 

Locals said they are outraged at the disturbing hate crime.

"I don't think anyone should be hit because of the lifestyle they lead," said Jenny Charlestown of Stamford.

Police said the victim told police she's lucky she saw the punch coming.

"She turned her face at the time he was going to punch her and basically said he would've broken my face if she didn't," Hohn said.

After the attack, police said the suspect fled down Spring Street.

Police said they believe the man is younger and was wearing a baseball cap.

Anyone with information should contact police.

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