NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police have released sketches of two suspects who they say are wanted in an anti-gay bias attack in Chelsea.
It happened early Wednesday morning in the area of West 25 Street and 9 Avenue shortly after Peter Notman and Michael Felenchak left the Chelsea Bowtie Cinemas.
The two were walking down the street when two other men approached them yelling anti-gay slurs and then punched and kicked the victims repeatedly, police said. That’s when three or four more men joined in on the attack, police said.
“It was six of them against the two of us,” Notman said. “Typical of the cowards they are.”
Felenchak, 27, and Notman, 53, were able to use their cell phones to call police. The suspects fled on 9 Avenue in the direction of West 25 Street after the attack, police said.
The two were taken to Beth Israel Hospital and treated for their injuries.
“I was hit with brass knuckles down the side of my face,” Notman said. “I had contusions, had to have an MRI and Michael received several stitches in his mouth where they punched us.”
Felenchak ended up requiring a total of seven stitches.
“I was shocked this happened on the street I call home,” Notman said. “Unbelievable.”
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn called the attack appalling.
“The cowardly individuals who committed this crime do not represent New Yorkers and our community will not be cowed by such violence. New York City’s greatest strength is our diversity, and we will not stand for attacks against anyone, for any reason,” she said.
Police said the incident is being investigated as a hate crime.
One of the suspects is described as a black man with brown eyes and black hair. He was seen wearing a white t-shirt.
The second suspect is described as a Hispanic man with brown eyes and black hair, approximately 16 to 20 years old with tattoos on his chest and both arms.
Notman and Felenchak said they were confident the suspects will be caught.
“We have our complete faith in the NYPD,” Felenchak said. ”They are great guys, they’re amazing. They’re going to find the guys.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visit the Crime Stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.
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