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NYPD makes arrest in Chelsea hate crime attack on two gay men

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Michael Felenchak (left) and Peter Nortman after the attack. Staff Reports

NEW YORK — The New York Police Department has arrested a suspect in connection with a bias attack on a gay couple leaving a movie theater last month.

Police say Alfonso Lainer was charged Tuesday with aggravated harassment and assault as a hate crime.

WABCMichael Felenchak (left) and Peter Nortman after the attack.

WABC
Michael Felenchak (left) and Peter Nortman after the attack.

According to investigators, Michael Felenchak, 27, and his partner Peter Nortman, 53, were attacked on Aug. 14 as they left a Chelsea neighborhood theater.

Felenchak said he and Nortman were walking home when two men approached them, yelling, “Hey, what are you looking at faggots.” They say they were then punched and kicked them repeatedly.

“They just came and attacked us and started beating us,” said Felenchak. According to police, four other men joined in on the attack.

“It was six of them against the two of us,” Nortman said, “typical of the cowards they are.”

Police say more suspects were being sought.

It was not immediately clear if Lainer had an attorney.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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