Eight Arrested for Anti-Gay Hate Crimes in the Bronx

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Twenty-two-year-old Ruddy Vargas-Perez, a suspect still at large. Photo: CNN

An eighth suspect was arrested last night, after turning himself in, after as many as nine assailants, allegedly members of Bronx-based gang Latin King Goonies, beat four men and sodomized two of them in a string of anti-gay hate crimes in the Bronx last weekend. The attacks were allegedly set off when members of the gang learned that a 17-year-old aspiring gang member is gay. They reportedly beat him, cut him with a box cutter, and sodomized him with a toilet plunger — leaving him in the hospital — before beating and sodomizing his lover with a bat and attacking two other men. Several suspects said the gang's ringleader, Ildefonso Mendez, threatened them with violence if they refused to participate. At a press conference with police chief Ray Kelly yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg said: "When you hear the details of what occurred, torture really is the only word that comes to mind. When any New Yorker is attacked because of who they are or who they love, the fabric that binds us together is torn. I was sickened."

8 arrested in string of anti-gay hate crimes in New York [CNN]
Members of Bronx gang say they were victims themselves [NYDN]