A photo released by the NYPD in connection with a May 5 assault on two gay men at the Dallas BBQ in Chelsea.
Late in the afternoon on May 7, the New York Police Department released a photo and new video footage of a man sought in connection with an assault on two gay men at the Dallas BBQ in Chelsea two days earlier.
The NYPD release described the man sought as a light-skinned black man wearing a black blazer and a white shirt. The photo appears to be from a security camera, presumably in the restaurant, and is time-stamped at 10:20 p.m. on May 5, roughly 45 minutes before the man was caught on camera slamming a chair over the heads of 25-year-old Ethan York-Adams and his 32-year-old boyfriend, Jonathan Snipes.
The new video released by police, like the photo, appears to capture the man’s arrival at the restaurant.
The man’s assault on the two men with the chair came at the end of roughly a minute in which Snipes was twice seen on the floor as his assailant appeared to be kicking him. Snipes sustained bruises and cuts to the right side of his face and head, including a long gash running from his ear.
York-Adams was brought to the ground when hit by the chair, while Snipes sat down and appeared dazed.
Snipes and police have both said the two men declined medical attention after an ambulance arrived on the scene at 23rd Street on Eighth Avenue. Snipes’ mother, Trish Snipes, told Gay City News her son was concerned about the cost of emergency room care, which he understood would consist primarily of overnight observation for a concussion.
Snipes told DNAinfo.com that the attack began when he accidentally knocked over a drink and, “a table near us audibly started making pretty gross comments about the two of us like, ‘White faggots, spilling drinks.’” Snipes said he then confronted the men, and a fight ensued.
Hours after Gay City News, on the evening of May 6, posted a story about the assault, Isaam Sharef, who had uploaded video of the attack to his Instagram and YouTube pages, sent a message to the newspaper saying, “Snipes didn’t go to the table to confront him. He went over and punched the guy in the face. Then the guy got up and attacked him.”
Neither Snipes nor York-Adams responded to online and telephone requests for comment. Sharef did not respond to a follow-up question as to whether he witnessed anything before what he described as Snipes’ first punch.
Though the NYPD would only confirm that two assault complaints had been filed and an investigation was ongoing, Sharon Stapel, the executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project, told Gay City News the incident was being investigated as bias-related by the department’s Hate Crimes Task Force.
Snipes’ mother told Gay City News that her son told her that that a waitress at Dallas BBQ, whom she described as having a ponytail, urged the attacker to “hurry up and leave before the police arrive.”
Eric Levine, whom the restaurant identified as its spokesperson for the incident, did not immediately return an email seeking comment on the attack and the allegation an employee may have helped the attacker elude capture.
Anyone with information about the Dallas BBQ attack can call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers at 646-610-6806, visit NYPDCrimeStoppers.com, or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES), and then enter TIP577, or can call the AVP’s 24-hour hotline at 212-714-1141.