The NYPD is investigating a vicious attack on two men at the hands of a group who directed anti-gay remarks at them before the assault.
The attackers could be a crowd of New York Knicks fans who set upon the victims as the team was losing a playoff game to the Indiana Pacers just steps away at Madison Square Garden.
The victims were walking arm-in-arm along Eighth Ave. between West 34th and West 35th Streets in Midtown Manhattan about 5 p.m. on Sunday when they were approached by a group of four men in their 20s.
"They called us f----ts," Nick Porto, a clothing designer told DNAinfo.com. "They made fun of my jeans — I made the jeans myself, for that day."
After harassing the men, the thugs pushed the victims to the ground and began punching Proto, 27, in the face.
DNAinfo identified the second victim as Kevin Atkins, 22.
Porto suffered a broken nose. Atkins suffered bruising to his right hand.
Both men were rushed to Bellevue Hospital where they were treated for their injuries.
They say that police originally told them that it would be hard to identify any suspects because so many people were wearing Knicks jerseys in the area at the time.
On Tuesday, police announced that they are searching for four assailants. Two photos of one of the suspects were released.
Investigators describe one of the possible attackers as Hispanic, approximately six feet tall with brown hair a tattoo on his left forearm. He was last seen wearing a white T-shirt, white sneakers, a white Knicks jersey #7 and blue jeans.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the NYPD Crime Stoppers:
Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477)
Text your tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577