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LGBT Community Rallies Against Violence In Wake Of Chelsea Dallas BBQ Beating

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Local lawmakers and members of the LGBT community gathered in Chelsea Friday evening to speak to against a violent attack at a barbecue restaurant this week.

State Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan) and City Councilman Corey Johnson (D-3rd) were among those who gathered at 23rd Street and Eighth Avenue to hand out fliers about anti-gay violence, and demonstrate public support for victims.

"That level of violence is unacceptable in any community," Hoylman told WCBS 880's Peter Haskell. "We're here to stand with the victims of this horrific act of violence."

LGBT Community Rallies Against Violence In Wake Of Chelsea Dallas BBQ Beating

The rally came as new surveillance video was released in connection with the Tuesday night attack. The newly released video provides a clearer view of the man investigators said is seen in cellphone video slamming a chair into Jonathan Snipes at the Dallas BBQ restaurant.

Eric Levine of the restaurant said Dallas BBQ should not be the subject of any anger.

"This man should be brought to justice, but it had nothing to do with Dallas BBQ," he said.

Chelsea Dallas BBQ Beating
Man wanted in connection with a fight at a Dallas BBQ in Chelsea. (credit: NYPD)

Witnesses said the dispute began over a spilled drink.

The suspect allegedly muttered an anti-gay slur, triggering the brawl where he pushes Snipes and appears to stomp on him before bashing the chair on his head, CBS2's Janelle Burrell reported.

Witness Isaam Sharef caught the attack on video and posted it to YouTube and Instagram. The video shows Snipes being flung to the floor and kicked as others screamed, "Stop!"

Warning: Some May Find Video Disturbing

Snipes spoke to CBS2 after the attack.

"I mean, any violent act against any New Yorker I would not condone, but especially anything that's protected – whether it's your race, your religion or your creed," Snipes said.

Police are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.

Police said the suspect, seen on video with a beard and wearing a suit, is about 35 years old and could be as tall as 6 foot 4. Investigators hope someone who sees the video will turn him in.

Anyone with any information about the suspect is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

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