Two men who brutally attacked a Hell’s Kitchen construction worker on Saturday and spewed hateful rhetoric have been charged with a hate crime.
Authorities said on Monday that Klevis Vulaj and Veton Balidemaj were charged for the assault against Darrick Brown, a Black man who tried to warn them about cutting through an active construction site.
When one of the men reportedly tried to hug Brown, who is Black, to which he refused him, according to police. The NY Daily News reports that the two white men the allegedly shouted:
“What are you going to do about it n—r?” and “We’re out here partying and you’re out here working like a n—r.”
Vulaj pushed Brown down onto the ground and started punching him. Balidemaj kicked the man so violently it fractured his right orbital bone, court papers allege.
On Sunday, Brown had surgery at Mount Sinai/St. Luke’s hospital. He suffered severe trauma to his right eye and cuts to his head, authorities said.
Vulaj was held on $3,000 bond and Balidemaj was ordered held on $7,000 bond during their Manhattan Criminal Court arraignment following the assault.
Vulaj is reportedly also being investigated for a beating of a transgender woman, Beatrix Rubi Lacroix in 2017.
The attackers are due in court again on Feb. 14.