NEW YORK — Members of a street gang discovered one of their recruits was gay, so they attacked the teen, brutally beating and torturing him and two other people in gruesome assaults, police said Friday. Another man was robbed.
Seven of the suspects were arrested and being held pending arraignment on charges of robbery, sodomy, menacing and assault as hate crimes. Two others were being sought.
The attack came amid heightened attention to anti-gay bullying following a string of suicides attributed to it last month around the country.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the first of the four assaults in the most recent case happened about 3:30 a.m. last Sunday.
The first victim, a 17-year-old potential recruit for the Latin King Goonies street gang, was grabbed by gang members and taken to an empty Bronx apartment they used for parties and sex, police said. The teen was stripped, beaten and sodomized with a wooden plunger handle, police said.
The attackers, apparently angry he was gay, yelled anti-gay insults and questioned him about his contact with a 30-year-old man, police said.
The teen was eventually released and told not to tell anyone. He walked to a hospital where he was treated, but he reported his injuries as due to a robbery.
Using information from the recruit, the attackers then descended on another 17-year-old also thought to have had a relationship with the 30-year-old, police said. Both were lured to the same apartment.
The second teen was assaulted about 8:30 p.m. Sunday, police said. The 30-year-old arrived about an hour later with malt liquor, thinking he was going to a party. He was stripped to his underwear and tied to a chair opposite the other teen, who was forced to burn the man with cigarettes, police said.
They beat the 30-year-old, forced him to drink copious amounts of the malt liquor he brought, and sodomized him with a small baseball bat, police said.