“Some of our staff thought it was gunshots and crouched down,” he said of the second and third incidents, adding that the bar’s security guard tried to chase the perpetrator on both occasions but failed to grab the person or identify them. .

Erik Bottcher, a New York City councilman who represents Hell’s Kitchen and is gay, called the incidents «hate crimes» in a cheep on Sunday and urged anyone with information that could identify the perpetrator to contact the New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force. DeParolesa said Saturday’s incident had been referred to the task force.

“The epidemic of anti-LGBTQ+ violence is national,” Mark Levine, Manhattan Borough President, also tweeted Sunday. “A well-known gay bar on the west side of Manhattan has been repeatedly attacked in recent weeks. We can’t stand this.»

The attacks come as New York police are also investigating a series of robberies and assaults that may be linked to the deaths of two gay men earlier this year after they left Hell’s Kitchen gay bars, New York police confirmed. York this month.

The brick thrown at VERS broke the glass, but scared the customers inside.Elise Wrabetz/NBC News

On the other side of the country, just hours after the incident on VERS on Saturday, a gunman in Colorado Springs opened fire at a gay nightclub, killing five and injuring 19. Prosecutors in Colorado charged the suspect Monday with five counts of first-degree murder and five bias crimes. Although the shooter’s motive is unknown, the Colorado Springs mayor told the «TODAY» show that he felt the incident had «all the hallmarks of a hate crime.»

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said monday has directed the New York State Police to strengthen protection for at-risk communities, including LGBTQ communities, across the state.

While DeParolesa stressed that her bar is a safe place and that no one was hurt during any of the incidents involving her establishment, she said she also feels the country is in a time of «emboldened anti-gay and anti-trans resurgence.» .

«The pendulum swings,» he said. «This is the manifestation of that.»