New York Police Department officers are looking for Bayna El-Amin, who they believe smashed a chair over the heads of a gay couple eating at a Chelsea barbecue joint.
El-Amin has been arrested 18 times, Gay City News reports, including for assault. Police believe El-Amin fled New York since the attack on May 5, which left 25-year-old Ethan York-Adams and his 32-year-old boyfriend, Jonathan Snipes, with gashes and loose teeth.
A video of the fight taken by a witness shows a man kicking Snipes before the assailant slams a chair over the head of Snipes and York-Adams. Snipes claimed the assailant was angered when he accidentally knocked over a drink; the man then began calling them antigay slurs. What happened next is disputed -- Snipes said he confronted the man, who then responded by attacking him. The witness who shot the video, Isaam Sharef, claimed Snipes threw the first punch.
Regardless of Sharef's claims, the police are investigating the attack as a hate crime.
"The NYPD takes these types of incidents very seriously," out City Council member Corey Johnson told Gay City News earlier this month. "At this time, they have determined this to be a hate crime. ... This was a brutal, out-of-control attack. That's unacceptable."