Three men charged with hate crimes after gay attack
Three young men were charged with vicious hate crimes yesterday after they confessed to luring a gay man to a parking lot to rob him -and then chasing him into traffic on the Belt Parkway.
John Fox, 19; Ilya Shurov, 20, and Gary Timmins, 16, were charged with assault and robbery-all as hate crimes-in Sunday’s attack on Michael Sandy, a gay man from Brooklyn who was clinging to life last night, police said.
“They are predators. They went to gay chat rooms. They posed as gay men. They targeted gay men and schemed to rob them. We don’t think this victim was their first,” a police source told the Daily News.
According to a police commander who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity, one of four men questioned by police had met the victim on a street corner and convinced him to drive to an isolated parking lot near Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn where a group was waiting.
The confrontation eventually spilled onto the six-lane Belt Parkway, where the victim, Sandy, 29, was hit by a vehicle.
Sandy, an interior designer, remained in a coma at Brookdale University Hospital yesterday. His family was struggling with the decision to remove him from life support. He turned 29 today.
“Michael is loved by everyone he comes into contact with. There is not one person I’ve met that can say anything bad about Michael,” said his former roommate Nick Predescu, 28, to the Daily News.
The men questioned said they were heterosexual and indicated they had in the past used the Internet to lure and attack gay men,.
The three charged will face murder raps-as a hate crime-if Sandy dies, sources told the AP.
Police were also searching for the vehicle that hit Sandy, whose driver did not stop at the scene.
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