Staten Island man sentenced up to four years for anti-LGBTQ+ hate crime in Flatbush

April 3, 2023 Robert Abruzzese
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FLATBUSH — A Staten Island man has been sentenced to up to four years in prison for committing a hate crime against two people in Flatbush.

The defendant, identified as Aaron Richard, struck the victims with a metal object while shouting anti-gay slurs at them. He knew at least one of the victims.

“Attacks victimizing the LGBTQ+ community have surged nationwide, and we have no tolerance for this abhorrent violence in Brooklyn,” District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said. “Today’s sentence holds the defendant accountable for this senseless and unprovoked attack and sends a strong message that those who commit hate crimes will face serious consequences.”

Richard, who is 33 years old, was sentenced on Tuesday to two to four years in prison by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice John Hecht. He pleaded guilty to third-degree assault as a hate crime on March 15.

The incident occurred on July 8, 2022, at around 5:45 p.m., near 533 Ocean Avenue. Richard confronted a 22-year-old man he knew, who was standing in front of a deli with another person, and shouted: “Yo, you f—–s got to go. Let’s get these f—–s out of here. You need to move off this corner.”

Wielding a metal object, Richard struck the man in the face, causing a laceration. When the second person tried to intervene, they were also struck in the hand with the metal object, sustaining a cut. Richard wasn’t found and arrested until Aug. 30, 2022.

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