Man who assaulted two men at Chelsea restaurant gets nine years of imprisonment

Bayna-Lekheim El-Amin was sentenced last Thursday, September 15 to nine years of imprisonment and three years of supervision after his release in relation to assaulting two gay men, Jonathan Snipes and Ethan York-Adams, at the Dallas BBQ restaurant in Chelsea, New York City in May 2015.

Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arlene Goldberg, at El-Amin’s sentencing, said: “The jury rejected your claim of self-defense. That you did not cause serious physical injury to [Snipes and York-Adams] was only a matter of luck. I know that you want to cast this, your supporters as well, as an issue about race. I don’t see it that way…When you picked up that chair, that was a criminal act that cannot be excused.”

According to Gay City News, El-Amin was seen “hitting the two men on their heads with a heavy wooden chair as they stand with their backs to him,” with prosecutor Leah Saxtein adding, “He used a dangerous instrument to strike them in the most vulnerable part of the human body.”

Snipes contended that El-Amin had used homophobic slurs to refer to him and York-Adams, as they were in a romantic relationship. However, El-Amin claimed that information could not be factored into the testimony of it being a hate crime due to the fact that he is also gay.

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