Saturday, September 26, 2020

New York Youth Charged With Hate Crimes Against Latinos

Last November when Suffolk County prosecutors charged seven youths in the deadly assault of Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorean immigrant on Long Island. Their accusations charged that “hunting Hispanics” was a regular pastime for the accused.

Yesterday, prosecutors announced new indictments that accuse the seven teenage defendants of attacking eight other Latino men. Prosecutors believe that more teenagers were involved in the racist fueled attacks on Hispanics on Long Island but still have not been apprehended. These teenagers are believed to roam around on bicycles hunting for Latinos to attacks, according to a law enforcement official.

Five of the defendants – Christopher Overton, Anthony Hartford, Jose Pacheco, Jordan Dasch and Nicholas Hausch – pleaded not guilty in Suffolk County Criminal Court. The other two, Kevin Shea and Jeffrey Conroy, are expected to plead not guilty next week in the death of Mr. Lucero.

Jose Perez, a lawyer for LatinoJustice P.R.L.D.E.F., an advocacy group, said that these attacks show that a more aggressive police response is necessary in order for Hispanic hate crime attacks to be prevented. Following the death of Mr. Lucero, many other immigrants came forward to describe other hate-crime attacks. Some had never been reported; others were reported to police at the time, but no arrests were made in part because of language barriers.

In one of the new indictments, Mr. Pacheco and Mr. Conroy, who are accused of fatally stabbing Mr. Lucero on Nov. 8, were also charged with beating Carlos Orellana on July 14, 2008. Mr. Orellana was one of many victims who gave details of 13 similar attacks to the New York Times, which are now being investigated. The media coverage of Mr. Lucero’s death has inspired others to come forward, and hopefully justice will be served.

New York Times