On Sunday June 27th. Dylan Spinosa, and his friends were returning from the NYC Pride/Reclaim Pride when at the Staten Island Ferry terminal Spinosa saw a inebriated man harassing women and tried to step in when an attacker suddenly yelled an anti-gay slur stabbed him in the back.
Spinosa told the New York Daily News that the man was “harassing every girl that he passed by, talking to them sexually.”
“He was in her ear, sexually harassing her, saying he was going to have sex with her,” Spinosa said. “Me and this other guy were like, ‘Dude, leave her alone. Go home. You’re drunk. This doesn’t have to get any further.”‘
It was then the suspect called Spinosa a “fag” and lunged at him. Spinosa succeeded in putting Shields in a headlock after he threatened the 20-year-old by saying he had a gun.
“I put the guy in a headlock and told him ‘relax it’s over – cut it out,’” Spinosa told ABC 7.
Spinosa then went to get the injured man water when Shields ran at him. Shields stabbed him in the back. At first, he said, it felt like he was punched in the back.
“I didn’t notice that I was stabbed until a police officer and my friend said, ‘You’re bleeding.’ He had a blade I want to say was about three to four inches long,” Spinosa said
The suspect in question was identified as 47-year-old Eric Shields by the NYPD
Shields has been arrested in connection to the attack and the NYPD Hate Crime Task Force is still investigating whether the attack will be prosecuted as a hate crime.
Shields has 34 prior arrests in New York City