Authorities said they could not immediately identify Morales because he was carrying forged identification. But investigators learned his name after the forged ID was submitted to the department’s Facial Recognition Unit.
Of the other recent New York bias attacks on gay men, one was reported last week on nearby Christopher Street, where a 35-year-old man told police he was beaten up and heard anti-gay words after leaving a bar.
On May 10, two men trying to enter a billiards hall on West 32nd Street were approached and beaten by a group shouting homophobic slurs, police said.
And on May 5, a man and his partner were beaten near Madison Square Garden after a group of men wearing Knicks shirts hurled anti-gay slurs at them.
The commissioner said Saturday that police were looking into possible links between the incidents.
Multiple lawmakers have condemned the violence.
“I am horrified to learn that last night, a gay man was murdered in my district after being chased out of a Greenwich Village restaurant and assailed by homophobic slurs,” New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said. “I stand with all New Yorkers in condemning this attack.”
The Democratic mayoral candidate said there was a time in New York when hate crimes were common — when two people of the same gender could not walk down the street arm in arm without fear of violence and harassment.
But “we refuse to go back to that time,” she said. “This kind of shocking and senseless violence, so deeply rooted in hate, has no place in a city whose greatest strength will always be its diversity.”
New York State Sen. Brad Hoylman, a Democrat whose district includes Manhattan’s West Side, called on New Yorkers “to unite against hate and gun violence.”
And State Assemblywoman Deborah Glick declared that “New York is not open for bigotry.”
The New York City Anti-Violence Project plans to gather on Friday night for what it calls a “Community Safety Night.”