Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

“Wolf-Like” Street Gang Gay-Bashing Rampage In New York

Latin King Goonies Arrested for Anti-Gay Torture (NY Daily News composite photo)

New York City, New York – Members of the Latin King Goonies, a street gang based in the Bronx, went on the attack last week to brutalize men they perceived to be gay, including a 17-year-old allegedly sodomized with the wooden handle of the toilet plunger.  The New York Daily News reports that seven members of the Goonies were arrested, ranging in ages from 16- to 23-years-old.  At least two other gang members are being sought by police in connection with the homophobic series of crimes.  “These suspects employed terrible, wolf-pack odds of nine against one, odds which revealed them as predators whose crimes were as cowardly as they were despicable,” Ray Kelly, Police Commissioner for New York City told reporters for the News. Throughout the attacks, the suspects shouted homophobic slurs at their victims.  According to The Advocate, the suspects allegedly ran amok after learning that one of their new gang initiates, a 17-year-old, was a gay.  They kidnapped and tortured a 30-year-old man believed to be the lover of the Goonies pledge, sadistically forcing the youth to burn his friend with lit cigarettes.  The victim was also beaten with a chain, forced to chug large amounts of an alcohol-laced energy drink called Four Loko, and then was sodomized with a small baseball bat.   A second 17-year-old male was kidnapped and sodomized with a wooden toilet plunger handle while the others were forced to watch.  The Daily News report says that the gang topped off the day by beating and robbing a fourth man.  Led by 23-year-old Ildefonso (Cheto) Mendez, the seven were transported to the 41st Precinct station, where they are being held pending arraignment.  Besides Mendez, those arrested were David Rivera, 21; Nelson Falu, 18; Steven Carballo, 17; Denis Peitars, 17; Bryan Almonte, 17; and Brian Cepeda, 16. Still being sought, they said, are Elmer Confessor, 23; and Ruddy Vargas-Perez, 22. The suspects are charged with sodomy, abduction, imprisonment, menacing, assault, and robbery–all categorized as hate crimes.  Reaction the anti-gay rampage has been swift.  New York authorities are especially sensitive to anti-gay bias crimes in the wake of a recent bashing incident involving two young men who assaulted a gay man in the toilet of the historic Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, the birthplace of the Gay Rights Movement in America.  Numbers of anti-LGBTQ hate crimes are on the rise in New York according to The Daily News.  As of Monday, this year’s total has reached 44 as compared with 41 at this same time a year ago.  Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., said, “Bronxites will not tolerate any form of bigotry in our borough,” and New York City Council Speaker, Christine Quinn demanded action against gay bashers throughout the five boroughs.”These attacks are appalling and are even more despicable because the victims were clearly targeted in acts of hate simply because they are gay,” she said. Police Commissioner Kelly told reporters that this latest attack had nothing to do with a gang initiation.  This one was about pure hatred of homosexuals.  One 17-year-old victim, Kelly said, was “thrown into a wall, made to strip naked, hit in the head with a beer can, cut with a box cutter and sodomized with the wooden handle of a plunger.”  According to the New York Times City Blog, the tortures took place over several hours at 1910 Osbourne Place, a Goonies safe house often surrounded by as many as ten pit bull attack dogs.  Residents of Morris Heights called the site, “the Goonies House,” and told investigators that the gang used it to throw parties, have sex, and as a staging ground for their attacks on a series of victims in recent months.  Commissioner Kelly told the press that the attackers worked hard to clean up after their bloody work.  The suspects pulled up linoleum, ripped out rugs, and repainted the torture chamber where the crimes took place.  One detective told the Commissioner that the house was “The cleanest crime scene I’ve ever seen,” quote unquote. “Lots of bleach and paint were used to cover the blood shed by their tortured prey. They even poured bleach down the drains,” Kelly said.  Still, the investigators were able to find significant amounts of evidence, including blood and human hair.  “They could clean,” said Commissioner Kelly, “but they couldn’t hide.”

October 9, 2010 Posted by | Anti-LGBT hate crime, Beatings and battery, Blame the victim, Bronx, Gang violence, gay men, gay teens, harassment, Hate Crime Statistics, Hate Crimes, hate speech, Heterosexism and homophobia, Kidnapping and sexual assault, Latino and Latina Americans, Law and Order, New York, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, rape, Slurs and epithets, Torture and Mutilation | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

   

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