HELL’S KITCHEN — A trio of teens threw an egg at a bar owner's face and hurled homophobic slurs when he confronted them in an incident police are investigating as a possible hate crime, the NYPD said.
Hardware Bar owner Eric Einstein, 42, was celebrating a friend’s birthday at the bar at 697 10th Ave., between West 47th and West 48th streets, around 6:46 p.m. on Saturday when the incident took place, he told DNAinfo New York.
The bar’s facade was open because of the warm weather, and he and a group of people were standing toward the front of the bar, he said.
“All of a sudden, I got hit on the side of the face with something — I didn’t know what it was,” Einstein said. “It basically felt like a full bottle of water.”
When Einstein looked outside, he saw three teenage boys walking by ran after them, catching up to one of them.
“I basically stopped him and said, ‘What are you doing? You can’t do things like that,’” he recalled.
When the boy’s friends noticed he had stopped, they circled back and called Einstein a “f-----g f----t,” he said. Another in the group also called him a “homo,” he added.
“Three against one, I let the one I had go, and that was it,” Einstein said.
He then called 911, with the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force responded to the scene, police said.
The bar owner, who gave police a few photos he took of the teens, said he was “surprised that it had happened at all.”
“I wasn’t exactly shaken up, because I wasn’t hurt," he said. "It was just kind of surprising that sort of thing happened in New York City in 2016, especially in Hell’s Kitchen, and not far out in the outer reaches."
He wasn’t aware of any similar incidents happening at the venue — which calls itself "NYC 's friendliest gay bar" — in the past.
“I’m hoping they catch these kids, and that they learn this is not acceptable behavior,” he said.