Man Arrested in Anti-Gay Chelsea Assault from August, Cops Say

By Aidan Gardiner on September 18, 2013 8:16am 

 Alfonso Lanier, left, was charged this week with attacking a gay couple in Chelsea in August. His accomplice was still at large.
Alfonso Lanier, left, was charged this week with attacking a gay couple in Chelsea in August. His accomplice was still at large.
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NYPD

MANHATTAN — One of the two men accused of attacking a gay couple in Chelsea in August was arrested Tuesday, but cops were still searching for his accomplice, an NYPD spokesman said.

The victims had left Chelsea Cinemas on West 23rd Street about midnight Aug. 14, when the suspects attacked them while shouting homophobic slurs, cops said.

"What are you looking at, f----t?" one attacker asked before assaulting the two victims, sending them to Beth Israel with cuts and swelling on their faces, sources said.

On Tuesday, cops arrested 23-year-old Alfonso Lanier, who lives only two blocks from the scene of the attack, according to the NYPD.

His accomplice had not been found as of Wednesday morning. The second suspect is believed to be in his late teens and to have tattoos on his chest and down both arms, police said.

The two pummeled Michael Felenchak, 27, and his partner Peter Notman, 53, before fleeing the scene, police said.

"We were trying to run, but they were pulling at us and kicking at us and punching us, trying to stop us," Felenchak told reporters after the attack. "They hit [Notman] in the head and the whole side of his head is swollen."

The Chelsea attack drew significant attention on the heels of an anti-gay slaying in nearby Greenwich Village.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477).

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