Daily Archives: October 9, 2010

perps

Surely the facts are not in dispute.

“He was told there was a party at a brick house on Osborne Place, a quiet block set on a steep hill in the Bronx. He showed up last Sunday night as instructed, with plenty of cans of malt liquor. What he walked into was not a party at all, but a night of torture — he was sodomized, burned and whipped.
All punishment, the police said Friday, for being gay.”

“Punishment” they say.

“There were nine attackers, ranging from 16 to 23 years old and calling themselves the Latin King Goonies, the police said. Before setting upon their 30-year-old victim, they had snatched up two teenage boys whom they beat, the police said — until the boys — one of whom was sodomized with a plunger — admitted to having had sex with the man.
The attackers forced the man to strip to his underwear and tied him to a chair, the police said. One of the teenage victims was still there, and the “Goonies” ordered him to attack the man. The teenager hit him in the face and burned him with a cigarette on his nipple and penis as the others jeered and shouted gay slurs, the police said. Then the attackers whipped the man with a chain and sodomized him with a small baseball bat.”

Just to show how “not gay” they were.

“The beatings and robberies went on for hours. They were followed by a remarkably thorough attempt to sanitize the house — including pouring bleach down drains, the police said, as little by little word of the attacks trickled to the police.”

This is the most fascinating part of the crime. They weren’t merely trying to cover their traces. That would have been possible without going to such lengths. Rather they were seeking to put themselves at a distance from “contamination.” Clearly gayness is a disease to them — that much be bleached out.

“A crucial clue to the attackers was provided by someone who slipped a note to a police officer outside the crime scene, at 1910 Osborne Place in Morris Heights, near Bronx Community College.”

Wouldn’t ya just love to talk to that “snitch”?

“Seven suspects were arrested on Thursday and Friday, and two were still being sought in a crime that the leader of the City Council called among the worst hate crimes she had ever heard of. “It makes you sick,” said the Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, the city’s highest ranking openly gay official.
The charges included abduction, unlawful imprisonment and sodomy, all as hate crimes.
“These suspects deployed terrible, wolf-pack odds of nine against one, which revealed them as predators whose crimes were as cowardly as they were despicable,” Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said at a news conference.”

This case provides a perfect example of why Hate Crime Laws are so important. Detractors — especially sef-loathing gay ones — claim that Hate Crimes are “Thought Crimes.” But clearyl that is not the case. For such “thoughts’ are wedded to actions. Moreover there’s the nature of the “thoughts” involved. Attacking someone because they’re gay is a crime foudned on the blief that LGBT citizens are less that second-class. They can be attacked with impunity becuase the society won’t stick up for them. Hate Crime Laws says it will. Moreover such laws state that a crime against LGBTs is a crime against the citizenry as a whole. Thinking LGBTs are “less than” impuigns the good faith of non-LGBTs in keeping the peace and protecting all from crime.

“The assaults are the latest in a string of recent episodes of bullying and attacks against gays. A Rutgers University student jumped to his death off the George Washington Bridge last month, prosecutors said, after his roommate had secretly set up a webcam in their room and streamed over the Internet his sexual encounter with another man. Two men were accused of robbing and beating a man in the Stonewall Inn, a landmark gay bar in Greenwich Village, last weekend while shouting slurs. “

More about Rutgers in a mo.

“Neighbors on Osborne Place said the house, nondescript but for its door painted a bright lime green, had been vacant for some time. A group of teenagers and young men had moved in as squatters, neighbors said, and hosted loud parties.
“You could smell it from them,” said a neighbor who gave only his last name, Gomez. “From the start, you could tell they were trouble.” Mr. Gomez said he and other neighbors had discussed whether anything could be done about the squatters, but nothing came of it.
The nine suspects — the group seemed not so much part of an established gang as a loose group of friends who adopted a nickname — knew some or all three victims. The idea for the attacks seemed to have been hatched last Saturday, after one member of the group saw the 30-year-old man, who he knew was gay, with a 17-year-old who wanted to join the gang, the police said.
Hours later, at 3:30 a.m. on Sunday, the group grabbed the 17-year-old, took him to the house and slammed him into a wall, the police said.
He was beaten, made to strip naked, slashed with a box cutter, hit on the head with a can of beer and sodomized with the wooden handle of a plunger, the police said. And he was interrogated about the 30-year-old and asked if they had had sex.
The teenager said that they had. The gang members set him loose, warning him to keep quiet or they would hurt his friends and family. The teenager walked into a nearby hospital and said he had been jumped by strangers on the street and robbed.
At 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, the police said, the group members grabbed a second 17-year-old, beating and likewise interrogating him about his contact with the 30-year-old. He, too, said he had had sex with the man. They took his jewelry and held him while the 30-year-old arrived for what he thought was a party, his arms filled with 10 tall cans of Four Loko, a caffeine-infused malt liquor. He had cleaned out a store of its entire stock.
He was immediately set upon and tied up. Then the assailants ordered the second teenager to attack the 30-year-old, and they joined in the beating. The beating lasted hours, the police said. The attackers forced the man to drink all 10 cans of liquor — each about twice the size of a can of beer, with a higher alcohol content, 10 percent to 12 percent, according to Four Loko’s Web site.
While the man was held captive and attacked, five of the Latin King Goonies went to his house, which he shared with his 40-year-old brother. Using a key taken from the 30-year-old to get inside, they found his brother in bed. They pulled a blanket over his head and hit him, demanding money. When he refused, one placed a cellphone to the brother’s ear, and he heard the voice of his younger brother, who said he had been kidnapped and who pleaded, “Give them the money.”
The brother complied. The men took $1,000 in cash, two debit cards and a 52-inch television.
The brother managed to free himself about three hours later, and he called the police, leaving out the fact that his brother was being held. By then it was Monday morning. Detectives went to the brothers’ home and, upon leaving, saw the 30-year-old, passed out on the landing from the alcohol he had consumed. But having no reason to believe he had been a victim of a crime, they did not question him.
Detectives returned later that day, suspicious of how the robbers had entered the brothers’ home without using force, and the 30-year-old told them he had been picked up in a van by strangers and forced to give them his keys and address, the police said.
Officers still had no idea about the first teen who had visited the hospital, because he had not called the police, and hospitals are not required to inform the authorities about assaults, the police said.”

A very important detail.

“The man had said he was robbed near 1910 Osborne, and police officers tried to obtain a search warrant for the house but were told they did not have enough cause, the police said.”

HUNH?

“Late on Tuesday the second teenager walked into a Bronx police station house and gave a version of what had happened, the police said. None of the three victims, in their first interviews with the police, were fully forthcoming, fearing reprisal and wanting to keep their lives a secret. But the second teenager gave an address, and a second request for a search warrant was granted.
On Wednesday morning, officers entered 1910 Osborne Place and found a surprising sight: an immaculate house, with fresh coats of paint and the smell of bleach hanging thick in the air. One detective called the house “the cleanest crime scene I’ve ever seen,” Mr. Kelly said.
“Lots of bleach and paint were used to cover the blood shed by their tortured prey,” he said. “They even poured bleach down the drains.”
Rugs and linoleum had been ripped out. Detectives were able to scrape evidence, including pubic hair and empty liquor cans, from the house, but not much was found, Mr. Kelly said.
The break in the case came later Wednesday when someone in a crowd of onlookers outside the house quietly slipped an officer his phone number and, when a detective called, gave the name of the man believed to be the ringleader of the group of nine: Ildefonzo Mendez, 23. Officers later learned the name of the first victim from the other teenager.
By Wednesday night, all three victims had given full accounts of the attacks, and for the next 36 hours, officers with the Hate Crimes Task Force, the Gang Division and Special Victims squad worked up a list of nine suspects.
Arrests began Thursday.”

Finally!

“The other suspects under arrest were identified as David Rivera, 21; Nelson Falu, 18; Steven Carballo, 17; Denis Peitars, 17; Bryan Almonte, 17; and Brian Cepeda, 16. They were being held by the police in the Bronx on Friday night, with no arraignment scheduled. Still being sought, the police said, are Elmer Confessor, 23, and Ruddy Vargas-Perez, 22.
One suspect confessed, a law enforcement official said, others have not given statements.
One suspect was taken to the hospital unconscious Friday night, with an undisclosed medical problem.”

Meanwhile, also on Thursday —

“Rutgers University did everything in its power to handle Tyler Clementi’s complaint that his roommate was spying on him with a webcam before the freshman committed suicide, the school’s president said today.
President Richard McCormick said he personally pored over Clementi’s student records after the teenager’s high-profile death to review how residence life officials dealt with the complaint.
“Based on everything I know, I believe that we did all we could and we did the right thing,” he said.”

If that’s your story you stick to it.

And I’m sure you — and your lawyers — will.

“McCormick declined to discuss what Clementi said in his complaint or how campus officials responded, citing federal student privacy laws. But proper procedure was followed, he said.
“I have studied the record carefully and I can’t say very much about it … But I believe Rutgers responded appropriately to the information that we had,” the president said.
McCormick answered questions about the case for the first time today, after a Rutgers Board of Governor’s meeting in Camden.”

IOW, “I believe we responded appropriately — though we can’t say why on the advice of my lawyers.”

“Clementi, 18, committed suicide last month after his roommate and a classmate allegedly used a webcam to watch the Ridgewood teen in an intimate encounter with another man in a dorm room on the Piscataway campus.
Freshmen Dharun Ravi, 18, of Plainsboro, and Molly Wei, 18, of West Windsor, were charged with invasion of privacy for the alleged internet voyeurism.
Wei’s attorneys released a statement earlier this week saying she is innocent. Ravi’s attorney said he is encouraged the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office is continuing its investigation to learn more about the complex case.”

No more complex than what happened in the Bronx. The difference with the Rutgers pers is that they spurred the victim to do the harm they were too “well-bred” to commit personally. Ain’t Facebook grand?

“Prosecutors have subpoenaed Rutgers to obtain copies of the complaint Clementi filed with a resident assistant after he learned Ravi allegedly used a webcam to watch him in their room. It is unclear if anyone other than Ravi and Wei viewed the live video feed. But Ravi is accused of trying and failing to use the webcam to catch Clementi in a second sexual encounter a few days later.”

Anyone who saw it has surely gone into hiding and isn’t likely to talk.

“Clementi appears to have sought advice on how to deal with his spying roommate on an internet forum for gay men using the screen name cit2mo. In a series of posts, the user does not use his school’s name. But he outlines a situation with identical dates and details to Clementi’s case.
The poster said he struggled with whether to get help from campus officials after he read on his roommate’s Twitter account that he used a webcam to watch the encounter. In his final post, on Sept. 22, the user said he filed a complaint with a campus resident assistant and two of the RA’s superiors. The RA seemed to be taking the matter seriously, the user wrote on the forum.”

The operative word is “seemed.”

“Clementi committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge later that day.
At today’s governing board meeting, McCormick said Rutgers will respond to Clementi’s death by stepping up efforts to teach civility, prevent student suicides and make its campuses more welcoming for gay students.
Earlier this week, McCormick met on the New Brunswick campus with more than 20 students from gay and lesbian groups. They discussed creating safe spaces in dormitories for gay students and adding “coming out” counseling services for students struggling with revealing their sexuality to their family, friends and fellow students.
“I learned a good deal,” McCormick said. “It heightened my sorrow personally that Tyler Clementi was not able to avail himself of all those resources.” “

What “resources”? The Trevor Project isn’t part of Rutgers, dear.

Hey McCormick — the Latin King Goonies are calling.