Authorities are searching for a suspect in an apparent hate crime in which a 33-year-old man was attacked with a hammer and robbed in Brooklyn Monday.
According to police, the suspect followed the victim back to his building on Washington Avenue around 11 a.m. in Crown Heights and started yelling anti-gay slurs.
The victim, Mitchell Pope, told NBC 4 New York he'd let the suspect in because he thought he was a construction worker there. But when Pope went to get his mail, the suspect began hitting him with a hammer.
"As soon as I got into the staircase, I was hit from the back unexpectedly. I fell down the stairs backwards, and he got on top of me and started hitting me," Pope said.
"I thought he was going to take my life," he said. "I was struggling to save my life."
The suspect then took Pope's cellphone and ran away. Surveillance video released by police showed the suspect fleeing with the hammer in hand.
Pope was taken to a nearby hospital in stable condition. He needed staples in his head.
No arrests have been made. Anyone who recognizes the suspect is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.