Pride Month has come and gone, but the need for LGBTQ+ equality will never go away.
Dr. Sina Rezaie, 29, is in the hospital after being the victim of what looks to be a hate crime. He says he was on his way home after getting off the subway in Greenwich Village when a stranger yelled a homophobic slur at him. The brutal attack left Rezaie with a broken jaw, which had to be wired shut to make sure it heals properly.
Attacked on the Streets
Dr. Rezaie was on the same block that was full of members of the LGBTQ+ community just over a week ago for the city’s annual Pride March. But all that love and inclusivity wasn’t there when Rezaie needed it most.
As he was walking home, Rezaie says he was tailed by a stranger at around 3 AM. “He called me a f****t and then half a block later, he came from behind and kicked and punched me multiple times,” Rezaie told reporters from his hospital bed.
Two friends, Laurie Beck and Richard Delay, were working nearby at the time of the attack. They saw Rezaie stumble towards them after being assaulted. The friends waited with Rezaie until the authorities arrived.
“I just kind of saw our friend walking outside kind of erratically and I called [Delay’s] attention ‘go see what’s going on with our neighbor, it looks like he’s distressed.’ [Daley] went outside to check it out, then he starts waving to me, so I grabbed a bottle of water and some paper towels and ran outside,” Beck told reporters.
“I saw him holding his mouth, blood running out from face. He said that he had gotten attacked by some guy who said something to him as he came off the train. Apparently, the guy called him a slur and then threw him to the ground, and started kicking him repeatedly,” Delay said.
Rezaie was rushed to the hospital, where his jaw was clamped shut using screws and metal plates. Doctors say his mouth will have to stay shut for about a month until it can heal.
Before the attack, Rezaie says he always “felt safe” in the neighborhood. “I don’t know why this happened to me,” he said.
The police say they have yet to identify a suspect in the attack, even though the neighborhood is full of surveillance cameras.
Rezaie has been giving updates on his condition via Instagram. “Just want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart who have donated, shared my story, and/or reached out. Helping me get through this. I’m at a loss for words and so touched. I’m home now, still very swollen, so difficult to speak, and in pain, but first follow-up appt is tomorrow. Thank you and love you all,” he wrote in a post.
He also included images of x-rays of his jaw to show his followers “what it looks like inside.”
His friend has started a GoFundMe account to help pay for his medical treatment. The fundraiser has already generated over $11,000 of the $15,000 goal.
Campaign organizer Sammy Daylor said, “He’s also in a lot of pain and even replying to my texts has been very difficult for him. His family really needs time to process everything that has happened to Sina, as well.”
We wish Rezaie the best as he continues to recover from his injuries.