NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — An attack on a man inside his Brooklyn apartment building is being investigated as a possible hate crime.

Mitch Pope has five staples in his head after a being attacked by someone with a hammer. He told CBS 2’s Emily Smith that a man followed him home and beat him while yelling gay slurs.

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“And then he was on top of me, hitting me with the hammer, and I was afraid for my life, so I started screaming and fighting back,” Pope said.

It happened around 11 a.m. on Monday, in the lobby of Pope’s Crown Heights apartment building. Pope had just made his usual coffee stop, and planned to go back up to his apartment when he noticed someone following him.

“Heavier guy , black with a scruffy beard, he had a skully on, and a brown hoodie,” Pope said.

The building has a locked door with a buzzer system, but police said that the suspect followed the man right into the building and attacked him in the lobby.

At first Pope thought the attacker might have been a construction worker on the property for a recent project. The next thing he knew, he was being attacked and pushed down a set of stairs.

As WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported, he had to get five staples in his head after the attack.

Surveillance video that is now in police custody caught the entire thing, and witnesses called 911.

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Police released the surveillance video of the suspect fleeing the building on Tuesday night.

Suspect wanted in connection with a hammer attack that police are investigating as a possible hate crime (Credit: NYPD)

Suspect wanted in connection with a hammer attack that police are investigating as a possible hate crime (Credit: NYPD)

“I feel like his intention was to kill me which is pretty scary,” Pope told CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco.

Popes roommate told CBS 2’s Smith that they’ve never been fearful before in Crown Heights.

“He certainly expresses himself. That’s no crime, and I think he looked like a good target for whatever this guy’s purposes were,” Pope’s roommate said.

Pope said that he will think twice before allowing someone to walk in the building behind him, and hopes that speaking about the violent crime will help prevent it from happening to someone else.

“This guy is still out there. If he hit me with a hammer and almost killed me, who knows what he could do,” Pope said.

Pope said that his cell phone was stolen when it flew out of his pocket during the incident. He is not sure if the attacker meant to rob him, invade his home, or if it was a bias crime.

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