Police are looking for a suspect in connection with a possible hate crime committed Monday morning in Brooklyn, N.Y.
The victim, 33-year-old Mitchell Pope, was followed by a man carrying a hammer as he was returning to his building on Washington Avenue in the Crown Heights neighborhood, reports WNBC. Pope told the local TV station he let the man into the building because he thought he was a construction worker.
But once in the lobby, Pope says, the assailant followed him to his mailbox and began yelling antigay slurs while striking Pope with the hammer.
"As soon as I got into the staircase, I was hit from the back unexpectedly," Pope told WNBC. "I fell down the stairs backwards, and he got on top of me and started hitting me."
"He was saying 'faggot' over and over again while he was hitting me," Pope told New York's DNA Info. "I literally thought he was going to take my life. I was terrified."
The attack sent Pope to Methodist Hospital. He had a fractured skull and other head wounds, and he required five staples for treatmen, according to TV station WCBS.
After Pope began screaming for help, he says, the assailant grabbed Pope's cell phone and fled. A surveillance video has been released by police; it's shown in WNBC's report below.
No arrest has been made. Authorities are asking anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.