Six NYC teenagers charged with murder as a hate crime
Collao lived in Bethpage on Long Island and was attacked in March when he left a party in Woodhaven, Queens. According to police, there was a $7 charge to enter the party and later in the evening, uninvited gang members crashed the party and refused to pay.
The party crashers trashed the home by breaking windows, writing anti-gay slurs on the walls and yelling anti-gay slurs at Collao. They later chased Collao down 90th Street and viciously attacked with while spewing anti-day remarks.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said Thursday the defendants were each charged in a 21-count indictment that includes second-degree murder as a hate crime. Brown stated:
Hate crimes -- whether they be motivated by sexual orientation, gender, religion or ethnicity --will not be tolerated in Queens County.
Nolis Ogando, 18, of Ridgewood; Luis Tabales, 16, of Richmond Hill; Alex Velex, 17, Christopher Lozada, 17 and Calvin Pietri, 17, all of Woodhaven were caught 15 minutes after the attack. The sixth suspect, Jonathan Echevarria, was arrested earlier this month and held without bail on Thursday with the rest of the group.
The defendants could face up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted.
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Arlington, Virginia, United States