***Update. New York Daily News reports:
A fifth suspect charged in the fatal beating of a teen in Queens bragged about the attack in anti-gay Facebook postings, law enforcement sources said.
Calvin Pietri, 17, of Woodhaven, was arrested Tuesday night and charged with manslaughter in the weekend beatdown of Anthony Collao, 18.
18-year-old Anthony Collao attended a birthday party in an abandoned Queens home being advertised on Facebook. His friends, both gay, were throwing the event and charged a $7 cover at the door. Five gang members arrived late in the evening, pushed through the front door without paying, and proceeded to tag the walls of the home with anti-gay slurs and break windows.
Collao made the obvious choice to get the heck out of there, but when he attempted to flee, he was chased by the gang. They eventually caught him, threw him against a car, and then proceeded to beat and stomp Collao to the brink of death while calling him anti-gay epithets. Collao, who had a girlfriend, was not even gay.
When medics arrived, Collao was transported to Jamaica Hospital, where he remained on life support until his death.
Alex Velez, 16, of the Bronx, and Nolis Ogando, Christopher Lozada and Luis Tabales, all 17 were eventually caught and arrested for the manslaughter of Anthony Collao. Lozada was wearing Collao’s Atlanta Braves baseball cap when authorities detained him, and the others were all covered in blood. The four suspects remain in jail with bail set between $100,000 and $200,000 each.
Collao was killed for the assumption that he was gay, even though he was not. He had recently graduated high school, and was looking forward to helping expand his family’s ice cream business.
NY Daily News reports that the families of the killers say this can’t be so.
“I hope they go away for the rest of their lives,” pal Pete Thearle, 18, said of the killers. “But that won’t bring him back.”
Velez’s father, Alex, said his son is an A student who punched Collao only after the victim lunged at him. “He was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said.
Ogando’s aunt, Ercina Rodriguez, said her nephew told her he had nothing to do with Collao’s death. She said her nephew was suicidal in jail.
“He said he was at a party and when he saw everyone run he ran too. He didn’t see anything,” she said. “He has chronic anemia and weighs like 80 pounds. He is not a gangbanger. This is not Nolis, this is not him.”
And yet your children were covered in the victim’s blood, wearing his pilfered clothes, and have been identified by the other party guests they attacked. Disgusting.
We hate reporting news like this. Seriously. But what the hell is up with all of these people – straight and gay – being attacked for “looking gay?”
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