Seven people ranging in age from 16 to 23 are being charged in a brutal attack on three gay men on Sunday. Two other suspects are being sought, according to police commissioner Ray Kelly.
Kelly says the three victims were held against their will by the assailants, while a fourth individual was beaten and robbed elsewhere in connection with the attacks.
The first of the related attacks occurred at approximately 3:30 a.m. Sunday, when a 17-year-old was approached by members of a street crew calling themselves the "Latin King Goonies." The teen was apparently an aspiring member of the group.
Kelly says the crew forced the 17-year-old into an unoccupied ground-floor apartment on Osborne Place, where he 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 police, his tormentors denounced the victim and questioned him about his contact with a 30-year-old man who the same suspects would later assault. Afterwards, his assailants escorted him out of the location and warned him not to call police. At about 5:30 a.m., the victim walked into a nearby hospital and was treated and released. There, he explained his injuries by claiming he had been jumped by unknown assailants on the street.
Bronx detectives learned the victim's identity and questioned him, and he eventually told them the truth and that he hadn't revealed it because he feared for himself and his family.
Around 8:30 p.m. Sunday, a second 17-year-old who was known to members of the same street crew also was beaten and questioned about the same 30-year-old man, authorities said. This teen was robbed of his jewelry while being held against his will in the same apartment.
Then, police say the 30-year-old man was lured there at about 9:30 p.m. Sunday.
He was allegedly forced to strip to his underwear and then tied to a chair opposite from the teenager. The teenager, at the direction of his assailants, hit the older male several times in the face and burned him with a cigarette.
The suspects also hit the man with their fists and a chain, police said, and sodomized him with a small baseball bat. They forced him to consume 10 cans of the malt beverage "Four Loko" that he had with him.
One of the suspects said later the man was beaten for hours and then dumped outside of his home.
The victim was found unconscious at about 4 a.m. Monday on a landing in the building where he and his brother shared an apartment. He had no recollection of how he got there, and because of his ordeal, in which he was forced to consume so much alcohol, he was also unable to give a coherent account of what had transpired until Monday night.
The second 17-year-old victim, meanwhile, did not report the incident to police until late Tuesday. Like the other teen, he too withheld details of the assaults until he was re-interviewed by detectives on Wednesday.
At about 10:30 p.m. Sunday, Kelly said the older brother and roommate of the 30-year-old victim was at home in bed when five assailants let themselves into his apartment through the front door with keys taken from his brother.
The suspects pulled a blanket over his head, beat him and demanded money, police said. When he refused, the assailants placed a cell phone to his ear, on which he heard his younger brother tell him that he was being held against his will and to quote, "Give them the money." The older brother told his assailants where they could find $1,000 in cash in the apartment.
They reportedly stole the cash, a 52-inch television and two debits cards.
Kelly said the assailants left the apartment at 11 p.m., after tying up and gagging the victim using a combination of rope, clear plastic tape and blue painter's tape.
By 1:30 a.m. Monday morning, the victim managed to free himself and use a neighbor's phone to call 911. He initially told police only that he had been robbed, failing to reveal the facts involving his brother.
Police searched the place where the initial acts reportedly took place, and found nothing. Authorities believe the suspects returned and cleaned up after themselves. They say there was a strong smell of bleach, and one of them described it as "The cleanest crime scene I've ever seen."
But police say their tip came from someone in a crowd of onlookers near the crime scene, who passed a phone number to the uniformed officers who were standing there. They say that number led them to the name of the principle suspect in the case.
Charges include unlawful imprisonment, abduction, assault, robbery, sodomy and menacing - all as hate crimes.
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