VIDEO: Gay Couple Bashed With Chair at Chelsea Dallas BBQ

By Aidan Gardiner | May 6, 2015 11:26am | Updated on May 7, 2015 7:43am
 Jonathan Snipes, 32, said a man attacked him inside a Dallas BBQ on West 23rd Street after calling him an anti-gay epithet, April 6, 2015.
Jonathan Snipes, 32, said a man attacked him inside a Dallas BBQ on West 23rd Street after calling him an anti-gay epithet, April 6, 2015.
View Full Caption
DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg

MANHATTAN — A gay couple was bashed over the head with a wooden chair, knocked to the ground and kicked by two men hurling anti-gay slurs at the Chelsea Dallas BBQ Tuesday night, in an attack captured on a graphic video, according to police and the victims.

"These guys attacked us specifically because they knew we weren't their type of people," said Jonathan Snipes, 32, who had a tooth knocked loose and cartilage snapped in his ear during the beating.

"It was disgusting. It was awful," Snipes, who was attacked alongside his boyfriend Ethan York-Adams, 25, told DNAinfo New York.

In one video, York-Adams, 25, tries to shield Snipes by throwing his arm around his shoulder just before a man rushes up to them with a wooden chair and cracks it over their heads.

York-Adams falls to the floor and Snipes slumps into a nearby chair, visibly dazed.

The NYPD's Hate Crime Task Force is investigating the assault as a possible bias attack, a police spokesman said Thursday morning.

The incident began at approximately 11 p.m. when the couple finished up their drinks at the restaurant at 261 Eighth Ave. where they had gone to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, Snipes said. The couple had been at XES Lounge earlier that night, but moved to Dallas BBQ in search of their cheap margaritas, Snipes said.

[WARNING: This video contains graphic content]

At the restaurant, Snipes got a text about a death in his family and needed to leave the restaurant quickly, he said. As he headed out, he accidentally knocked over a drink, he said.

"A table near us audibly started making pretty gross comments about the two of us like, 'White f----ts, spilling drinks,'" Snipes said.

"I don't let anyone talk to me like that. I went over there and asked, 'What did you say about us?'" he added.

Snipes said he's 140 pounds, never thrown a punch in his life and felt he posed no physical threat to anyone at the table, especially the two large men there — one of whom stood about 6 feet 4 inches, according to police.

"I may be a mouthy broad, but I wasn't going to take it to that level," Snipes said.

One of the men stood up and escalated the verbal confrontation, Snipes said.

"He turned it into a physical altercation very quickly," he added.

The man knocked Snipes to the ground and started kicking his face and spine, knocking loose one of his teeth, snapping the cartilage in his ear and bruising his head, he said.

He shouted, "Take that, f----t," according to Snipes.

Onlookers shouted "Stop! Stop! Stop!" according to a second video posted to YouTube by Isaam Sharef, who also took the Instagram video. He didn't respond to requests for comment.

"At some point, the guy stops kicking me in the face. He's won," Snipes said.

"[York-Adams] gets me up. But as he tried to get me away, that's when the other dude hits him with the chair," Snipes said.

York-Adams took the brunt of the hit and was knocked to the ground, but the chair also hit Snipes who then slumped into a nearby chair, visibly dazed.

An onlooker rushed up and took a cellphone photo of Snipes, video shows.

"They hit us hard and then they wouldn't stop. I was hobbling away and they came and attacked us again," Snipes added.

"We were just trying to get away from it," he added.

The attackers fled the scene as the couple awaited police and medical crews, police said. The attackers had not been arrested as of Wednesday morning, police said.

Dallas BBQ did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

[WARNING: This video contains graphic content]

 

In ALL my years coming to BBQ's never seen a fight but this was just a piece of it. Smh 

A video posted by Julius McFly (@julius_mcfly) on

 Jonathan Snipes, 32, suffered bruises and cuts to his face after a man shouting anti-gay epithets attacked him inside a Dallas BBQ on West 23rd Street, April 6, 2015.
Jonathan Snipes, 32, suffered bruises and cuts to his face after a man shouting anti-gay epithets attacked him inside a Dallas BBQ on West 23rd Street, April 6, 2015.
View Full Caption
DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg

Both men refused medical attention, officials said. Snipes said he didn't want to spend the money on an ambulance trip to the hospital because he's recently unemployed, he said.

"I don't have insurance. The ride to the hospital was going to cost $1,000. I'd rather, in the comfort of my living room, be kept up than go to the hospital," Snipes added, explaining that emergency medical workers told him he'd primarily be monitored for a possible concussion.

Snipes said he was still in shock the morning after the attack — adding that while he's had anti-gay encounters before, this was the worst one he's endured.

"Growing up gay in Alabama, this is not my first time at that rodeo," he said.

His friends circulated the video in hopes that someone might recognize the attackers.

"We want this to go viral. We need to find him. My friend could have been killed," said longtime friend Sarah Meyers.

With reporting by Ben Fractenberg