Updated 10/10/2010 10:40 AM
Eighth Suspect In Anti-Gay Bronx Attacks Now In Custody
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Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said that an eighth suspect involved with several brutal attacks against three gay men in the Bronx turned himself in to authorities, and as of Saturday evening a ninth suspect was still at large.
Authorities were seeking Ruddy Vargas-Perez, 22, in connection with the attacks in Morris Heights, Bronx.
Elmer "Macho" Confresi, 23, turned himself in to the 46th Police Precinct in the Bronx earlier Saturday, according to the police commissioner.
On Friday, police announced the arrests of seven other suspects -- Ildefonso Mendez, 23; David Rivera, 21; Nelson Falu, 18; three 17-year-old boys and a 16-year-old boy -- who were charged with kidnapping, sodomy and robbery as hate crimes
At a press conference Saturday afternoon, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn once again denounced the horrific attacks and warned that anyone who commits a hate crime in the city will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and will be in prison for "a very long time."
"The heartless men who committed these crimes should know that their fellow New Yorkers will not tolerate their vicious acts or the hatred that fuels them," said Bloomberg.
"The crimes that happened in the Bronx are unthinkably disturbing," said Quinn, who is openly gay. "It's hard to remember a crime in the City of New York that is more disgusting and sickening than what happened in the Bronx."
Investigators say the nine suspects, who all belong to the Latin King Goonies gang, took a 17-year-old potential recruit to a vacant apartment at 1910 Osborne Place in Morris Heights.
Authorities say the gang found out the teenager was gay, then forced him to strip, beat and slashed him and then sodomized him with a plunger handle.
They also questioned the teen about his relationship with a 30-year-old man.
After releasing the teen, police say the gang lured the older man and another 17-year-old who was romantically linked to him to the same apartment and tortured them.
The gang beat the man with chains and sodomized him with a small baseball bat and forced the second teen to burn the man with cigarettes.
Police say during the second attack, some of the suspects went to the 30-year-old man's home, where they attacked his older brother and stole cash, debit cards and a big-screen TV.
Earlier Saturday, residents, activists and community leaders, including Quinn and Governor David Paterson, took to the streets and papered Morris Heights, looking for information about the assault.
The Hispanic AIDS Forum offered an $8,000 reward for information leading to arrests.
Anyone with information on the case should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.