Ninth suspect in New York anti-gay attacks taken into custody
A ninth man wanted by police in New York in connection with a homophobic attack on three men has been taken into custody.
Ruddy Vargas-Perez, 22, was taken into custody yesterday afternoon.
According to CNN, his lawyer Benjamin Heinrich said he had taken no part in the attacks and was “appalled” by reports of them.
Eight suspects have already been arrested in connection with the October 3rd incident, in which two teenagers and an older man allegedly suffered beatings and homophobic abuse.
One of the teenagers and the 30-year-old man were sodomised, police said. All three were allegedly held against their will in a vacant house in the Bronx area.
Police say that the attacks were carried out by the group,who are known as the Latin King Goonies.
All nine suspects face charges of unlawful imprisonment, abduction, sodomy, assault, robbery, and menacing, all as hate crimes.
The victims were allegedly asked “Is it true that you’re a fag?” before being attacked.
According to police, the attacks took place after a rumour that a would-be recruit to the gang was involved in a relationship with a man.
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The teenager was the first to be attacked and the gang then allegedly found another teenager they believed to be gay and attacked him too.
One of the teenagers was stripped and sodomised with an object until he admitted being gay.
The gang is then said to have found the boy’s older boyfriend and carried out a similar attack on him. He was burned, beaten and tortured for hours, police said.
The defendants are Ruddy Vargas-Perez, 22; Ildefonzo Mendez, 23; Elmer Confresi, 23; David Rivera, 21; Steven Caraballo, Denis Peitars, Nelson Falu and Bryan Almonte, all 17; and Brian Cepeda, 16.
Yesterday, city mayor Michael Bloomberg and city council speaker Christine Quinn, who is a lesbian, condemned the attacks.
Joe Solmonese, president of gay group Human Rights Campaign, said: “It is tragic to see what hate can do. These three men were brutally attacked … simply for who they are.”