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Homeless Man Charged With Hate Crimes in Slashing of Gay Victim

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Friday July 16, 2021

A homeless man suspected to have slashed a victim's face during an attack in which he hurled anti-LGBTQ slurs has been charged with several hate crimes, the New York Daily News has learned.

According to reports, the suspect, identified as Ramon Castro, 55, was arrested on July 15. Castro has a police record that includes 90 previous arrests for drugs, assault, and burglary, including two arrests from just last month.

The victim of the attack, 34-year-old Milton Lobos Salguero, told the New York Daily News he has suffered extreme anxiety and pain since the July 6 attack and has plunged into a "terrible depression."

"Think about it — if it was two inches lower, he would have hit my neck and I wouldn't be here," Salguero said.

"Everything gives me anxiety now," Salguero added, going on to describe how he has experienced trouble sleeping since the violent incident. "I fall asleep at 6 a.m. I close my eyes and I see him — his face looking down at me."

Salguero also shared traumatic details from his past with the media, including being raped as a child and having to flee El Salvador as a teenager "because of the crime and the gangs that wanted to kill me." The recent attack has worsened his anxiety-related skin ailment, the article added.

The New York Daily News recalled that "Salguero was in line with four friends at a Queens taco truck around 3:10 a.m." on the day of the attack, when Castro started harassing them, calling them "Latin faggots" and then threatened to kill them.

"Castro then pulled his knife, leaving the helpless victim with facial wounds that required 16 stitches to close at Elmhurst Hospital," the story recounted.

Castro was arrested "following an investigation by the NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force," QNS reported.

The suspect "faces hate crime charges of assault, menacing and aggravated harassment," PIX 11 detailed.

As EDGE previously reported at the time, the attack on Salguero was one in a string of incidents of anti-LGTBQ violence in New York City. "On June 30 there was a stabbing incident in which a man hurling anti-LGBTQ epithets allegedly scuffled with, then stabbed, a man on a midtown Manhattan subway stop."

"On July 3 a doctor was attacked in Greenwich Village in the early morning hours," the article further detailed.

"He called me a 'faggot' and then half a block later, he came from behind and kicked and punched me multiple times," the victim, Sina Rezaie, recounted while in hospitalization.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.