Peter Nortman and boyfriend Michael Felenchak, were holding hands as they left the Chelsea Cinemas around midnight Tuesday night, when they were brutally attacked by a group of six men.
“It was six of them against the two of us,” Notman said, “typical of the cowards they are.” According to Police, as the couple turned on to 24th street, they were approached by two men who yelled anti-gay slurs. Felenchak, 27, and Notman, 53, were then attacked by two young men, as well as four others who joined in.
“I ran into the lobby to try to get away from them, and then they dispersed once they saw that we were in the lobby and told the guy to call the police,” he said.
The two spent nearly the whole night in the emergency room.
“I was hit with brass knuckles down the side of my face, and I had contusions; had to have an MRI, and Michael received several stitches in his mouth where they punched us,” Notman said.
Felenchak ended up requiring a total of seven stitches.
As the two victims faced the media, their very public stand against hatred nearly moved a local politician to tears.
“It means a lot to me as an LGBT individual that you take it upon yourselves to be here — to represent our community — at such a difficult time,” said state Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan.)
Nortman, who has lived in NYC’s ‘gayborhood’ for over 20 years, says he now no longer feels safe living there anymore: ”I’m not going to take that corner (for granted) anymore,” he said. “I’m going to walk up a little bit and see what’s going on. Because I was shocked that this happened on a street I called home.”
NYPD released the following sketches of individuals wanted in connection with the assault:
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at (866) 313-TIPS.