All Rights reserved
A 42-year-old gay man was convicted Wednesday of two counts of first-degree attempted assault and two counts of second-degree assault in a fracas involving two other gay men, the New York Daily News reports.
Ethan Adams and Jonathan Snipes were eating at the Dallas BBQ restaurant in New York City's Chelsea neighborhood last May when an argument ensued between them and Bayna Lekhiem El-Amin, allegedly over a drink accidentally spilled by the gay couple. Adams and Snipes said El-Amin peppered them with homophobic slurs before he became violent. A cell-phone video, which went viral, shows El-Amin smashing a wooden chair over Adams's head, which knocked him unconscious. Snipes says El-Amin stomped on his head and back while calling him slurs. El-Amin then fled the restaurant, but turned himself in to police custody the next month.
El-Amin -- who is 6 foot 6 and weighs 280 pounds -- claimed he used the chair because the men were attacking him and he feared for his life. The video seemed to dispute his claim, though he said it was edited to support their assertions. El-Amin had also lashed out at gay New York City Council member Corey Johnson and the "racist gay media" for painting the story as a homophobic attack when El-Amin himself is gay. El-Amin filed his own suit against Adams and Snipes, though it's not clear where it currently stands.
Regardless of the impetus for the fight, the Manhattan jury found El-Amin's actions unacceptable and threw the book at him. Arrested numerous times before, El-Amin was convicted on all but one assault count he was charged with.
Sentencing is scheduled for June 14.