Updated 08/07/2010 10:23 AM
Teen Indicted On Hate Crime Charges In S.I. Bias Attack
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
A teenager accused in one of a rash of bias attacks on Staten Island was formally indicted Friday afternoon by a grand jury.
Derian Williams, 17, faces four counts including robbery and assault as a hate crime.
He is also being charged as an adult.
Prosecutors say Williams was one of five teens who beat and robbed Christian Vazquez, 18, in Port Richmond early Saturday morning.
They also say the group yelled anti-Mexican slurs and made off with $10 in cash.
It's the first time a suspect has been charged with a hate crime on Staten Island since the attacks began.
"Mr. Vazquez was selected in whole or in substantial part because of his nationality, his ethnicity, he's of Mexican decent. And that was the reason he was preyed upon," said Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan.
"There's good people in the world and there's people like him. People like the other four who haven't been arrested. I want them to go through the same process. I want them off the streets," Vazquez told NY1.
Since April, there have been 10 alleged bias attacks against Mexican immigrants on Staten Island.
In two prior arrests, the grand jury said victims were attacked for reasons other than race or ethnicity.
"It's the only crime you must prove why, not just who and he did because of Mr. Vazquez' ethnicity," Donovan said.
Williams, who is a native of Liberia, is being held on $400,000 bail. He will also be required to surrender his passport.
His next court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday.
Williams faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
Meanwhile, police are still searching for the other suspects in the case.
Anyone with information is being asked to contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-577-TIPS, by texting TIP577 to CRIMES, or by going to NYPDCrimeStoppers.com.