The man who police say attacked two gay patrons with a chair at a Chelsea Dallas BBQ last month while calling them "white f-----s" has turned himself in. According to an NYPD release, Bayna-Lehkiem El-Amin, 41, was arrested today and charged with two counts of felony assault and two counts of attempted felony assault.
El-Amin, who is reportedly gay and has 18 previous arrests in numerous states for assault, credit-card fraud, possession of stolen property, and forgery, told the blog G List Society earlier this month that the men he assaulted, Jonathan Snipes and his boyfriend, Ethan York-Adams, actually started the fight.
El-Amin claims that Snipes and York-Adams were fighting, and that he shouted "Hey, guys! There are ladies here," to get them to stop. Instead, El-Amin alleges, Snipes struck him with a "heavy blunt object," and that he merely retaliated with a chair.
"He assaulted me," El-Amin told G List Society. "I was the victim."
"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. 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 mane [sic] him or use as a deadly force."
Yet the video shows Snipes and his boyfriend moving away from El-Amin before he strikes Snipes with a chair.
Snipes told DNAinfo that he and his boyfriend accidentally spilled a drink as they were leaving the restaurant, and that El-Amin and his companion called them "White f-----s, spilling drinks."
"I don't let anyone talk to me like that. I went over there and asked, 'What did you say about us?'" Snipes said.
While the NYPD's hate crimes task force investigated the assault, El-Amin, a Bronx resident, is not being charged with a bias crime.