Slashing At McDonald's May Be Hate Crime

This man is not just another man waiting on line for his food at McDonalds.

Police say he’s a homophobic criminal, who’s accused of getting into an argument with a gay couple while standing on line at the chain’s Greenwich Village locations Wednesday night.

The confrontation turned physical – the suspect allegedly pulled out a razor and slashed one of the male victims in the face and necK before fleeing the store.

"It's obviously extremely upsetting," said New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn about just the latest act of violence played out inside of a McDonald's in Greenwich Village. 

The NYPD says the slasher is approximately 5'9 and weighs more than 300 pounds. After words were exchanged and anti-gay statements voiced, the suspect slashed his victim with a razor several times in several places, including his face.  The victim is healing after getting stitched up at Bellevue, but a hate crimes task force is now investigating.

"This McDonald's was historically a very problematic place," said Quinn to a PIX 11 News crew at her City Hall office on Friday afternoon.  However, the McDonald's has cleaned up its reputation since the spring according to the speaker. After introducing a six-point plan which includes nighttime security after 10 p.m., the NYPD has received 25% less 9-1-1 calls.  

As for this attack? "The best way we can prevent something like this from happening, is to make sure the perpetrator is apprehended and prosecuted aggressively," said Quinn. 

But why are fights and robberies prevalent at this particular McDonalds? 

Some business owners like Anthony Rodriguez of nearby Friends Cafe says that the subway stop on the corner as well at the golden arches attracts a seedy crowd who will camp out for hours, "So many come in and buy some things and hang around too much, bothering other customers too.  They are wasting too much time inside and other people are uncomfortable going in,"  said Rodriguez. 

Chris Widener of Bleeker Bob's Records, a Greenwich village institution just down the block,  agrees that the area doesn't have a great track record, "We have people coming in, I wouldn't say quite frequently but now and then, that act out who are really angry people."

Widner said, “These people aren’t from the neighborhoods. All the letter trains, a e f d, all converging on west Fourth Street. Sixth Avenue, eight avenue lines from all the boroughs. All over Manhattan, everyone gets out right across the street from McDonalds. They’ve been on the train a long time…an hour or more.”

Speaker Quinn told PIX 11 News that she plans on having a community meeting next week to see what other measures may be taken to curb future violence.