Police have released new surveillance video and photos of the suspect in a brutal attack on two men inside a Manhattan restaurant in which the assailant smashed a wooden chair over the victims' heads as horrified onlookers screamed as they watched.
"He was in a rage. It didn't even seem like he was present," said Isaam Sharef, the man who shot video of the brutal attack that sources tell NBC 4 New York is being investigated as a possible hate crime.
The suspect is being sought by police in the assault inside Dallas BBQ restaurant on Eighth Avenue in Chelsea late Tuesday night. He is the man wearing a black blazer and white shirt in the surveillance video.
The man who was attacked told DNAinfo that the suspect and another man hurled homophobic slurs at him and his boyfriend before the assault.
The video shows one man flinging at least one other person to the ground and kicking them repeatedly. Several people can be heard yelling “Stop! Stop!” as the attack progresses.
Sharef said the fight started before he began recording the attack. He said a couple and the attacker had been "screaming and yelling at each other, cursing each other out."
Things seemed to calm down, and the restaurant staff and other diners appeared to have the heated argument under control. The two men can be seen heading over toward a front window as the attacker approaches them with a wooden chair. He then flings the chair over his head, and a loud crack and screams can be heard as he smashes it on the victims' skulls.
After the hit, one of the men lands in a seat and appears to be dazed by the impact; the other man appears to fall to the floor. The assailant, meanwhile, can be seen walking out of the restaurant.
"I don't think anybody can watch the video and not be outraged by how horrible this was," Sharef said.
The attack was so brutal that bystanders were afraid to confront the assailant.
"He had just stomped on someone's head and hit someone on the head with a hard chair," said Sharef. "The last thing anyone wanted to do was get involved."
Police said a 25-year-old victim refused medical attention at the scene. John Snipes, who identified himself on Facebook as one of the victims, wrote in part Wednesday, "We are in better spirits and believe that our assailants will be found and brought to justice."
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.