Interracial couple and gay friend attacked in Queens, suspected hate crime

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NBC New York - An interracial married couple says they were attacked outside a bar in Queens early Saturday, and that their attackers used racial and homophobic slurs.

Billie and Jacob James-Vogel say they and a gay friend had been celebrating Billie James-Vogel’s 40th birthday in Long Island City and were attacked when they left the bar.

They say three men began hurling homophobic and racist slurs at their group before physically assaulting them.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the argument began when one of the men kissed Billie James-Vogel, and words were exchanged between the husband and that man.

Jacob James-Vogel suffered a black eye and a head injury; his wife had a broken toe and other bruises.

Kelly said one person had been arrested, and police were still investigating.

“We’re still looking at it as a possible hate crime,” Kelly said.

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