The man who broke a chair over the head of one half of a gay couple during a May melee in a New York eatery says everyone has the story all wrong, and he is "the victim."
Jonathan Snipes, the 32-year-old hit with the chair, says Bayna-Lehkiem El-Amin called him and his partner, Ethan York-Adams, "white faggots" before assaulting them. Snipes said the incident started because they accidentally spilled a drink near their table, which allegedly angered El-Amin.
Talking with the blog G List Society, El-Amin, who is reportedly gay himself and has a lengthy arrest record, said that's not what happened. He claims Snipes and York-Adams were fighting, and it was threatening to spill over to a nearby table of women.
El-Amin gave the blog his version of the incident:
"So, I said [to Snipes and his companion], ‘Hey, guys! There are ladies here.’ I said it in a tone that was authoritative… to get their attention. However, they continued.
"Moments later, it appeared that Mr. Snipes was going to leave the restaurant. But, by standing at the door, he directed his attention toward me, walked towards me and said, ‘And YOU calling us ladies!’ And, he struck me. He struck me in the head with an object. I’m not sure what it was, but it felt like a heavy blunt object — and it hurt."
El-Amin's explanation for why he then hit the men with a chair conflicts somewhat with the video of the incident, which shows Snipes and York-Adams moving away from El-Amin before he attacks them with a chair.
“My only thought was to facilitate an exit that they would not follow behind us, because there was no one there to stop them from doing so — or pull a weapon out on us," El-Amin said. "There was a chair, that’s closest thing to me. That’s why I threw it. I didn’t look at as a way to [maim] him or use as a deadly force.”
El-Amin told G List Society he's "the victim" of a "racist gay media," and also took aim at politicians like out councilman Corey Johnson, who referred to El-Amin as homophobic. Though wanted by New York police, El-Amin has not turned himself in.
Watch the (graphic) video of the attack below.