On May 6th two gay men were brutally clubbed over the head with a chair during a fracas at a Chelsea restaurant that was widely characterized as an anti-gay hate crime after video of the incident went viral nationwide. The following day New York City blog The G-List Society posted a claim that one of the victims had instigated the fight and that the attacker was a gay man himself. On May 20th the NYPD identified the man as Bayna El-Amin and reported that he remains a fugitive. On May 26th Gawker confirmed reports that El-Amin is gay.
Last night The G-List Society posted an interview with El-Amin, describing him as an “HIV/AIDS counselor and ballroom community leader.” The opening paragraph is attributed to El-Amin:
“We are fortunate enough to live in a country where all people are protected against crimes based upon their race or sexual orientation. That’s a blessing because everyone in this world doesn’t have that privilege and right. I think that is sad and unfortunate that someone would misuse that right and play this card that they have been gay-bashed or been attacked and then call someone a homophobe. I’m also disappointed in the community, in particular certain members of the LGBT community, who have not done their due diligence to make sure that if someone is saying this – that what they’re saying is true. In particular, that [openly-gay] Councilman [Corey Johnson] in that area who said so many horrible things about me to his constituents. I don’t understand why he would call me a homophobe.”
Further down in his post, G-List Society author Waddie G says that he advised El-Amin to press charges against the alleged instigator of the incident, should he decide to turn himself into the police. El-Amin is reportedly staying with friends at an undisclosed location and is being advised by an attorney while he builds his case of self-defense. Another quote from El-Amin:
“He assaulted me. I was the victim. People don’t realize that. People don’t know that. I was sitting at my table. With no provocation, he came up and hit me. There was no slur thrown at him. There was no bumping into my table and knocking over my drinks. There was no interaction between us in a sense, except for what I said earlier when I said to them, ‘Hey, guys! There are ladies here.’ Then, he came over to me and said, ‘And YOU calling up ladies.’ Then, POW! He definitely made false accusations and tried to put a crime on my that did not happen. I defended myself.”
NYPD Chief Of Detectives Robert Boyce calls El-Amin a “career criminal,” noting his multiple arrests on charges that include forgery and credit card fraud. Hit the final link above for the full interview.