Police said Monday a gold masked protester who was arrested during Manhattan drag story hour hosted by state attorney general Letitia James was charged with assault.
Robert Porco, 53, from upstate Fishkill, was issued a ticket and released. The man, whom he allegedly punched in the face, did not need medical attention.
Police said the victim came to support a Sunday morning event at an LGBTQ community center on W. 13th Street in Greenwich Village.
video posted on twitter shows a small group of protesters, including a man wearing a Proud Boys sweatshirt, across the street from downtown, while a much larger crowd of protesters lined the sidewalk to show their support for the event.
At some point Porco can see the rumble of police barricades before he is arrested. Porco is accused of pushing cameras held by journalists and slapping an activist who supported the event.
“At least one member of the community was hit in the face,” a witness who identified himself as L.K. told the Daily News.
“It was joyful, there was music, noisemakers, a lot of sparkles and a very positive turnout. Protesters still showed up, shouting profanity and obscenity at families.”
Police said last May Porco was charged with harassment and disorderly conduct in connection with an egg-throwing incident in Brooklyn. Further details were not immediately available.
Similar family events have been canceled across the country due to harassment and threats from anti-LGBT groups such as the far-right Proud Boys, whose leader Enrique Tarrio was put on trial along with four other members for sedition in connection with the January 6 uprising. .
In September, the Morrisania Library in the Bronx canceled a show featuring drag artist Desmond Napoles after a teenage celebrity received violent hate-filled threats.
“This is not a safe time for the LGBT community,” said L.K.