Updated 02/26/2009 12:00 PM
Man Confesses To Deadly Bias Attack
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A 25-year-old man was arrested Wednesday after police say he confessed to an alleged bias assault in Brooklyn that claimed the life of an Ecuadorian immigrant back in December.
Hakim Scott is charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime.
Police say he made a full confession. The other suspect, Keith Phoenix, is still at large. Both suspects have criminal histories.
Police say Phoenix and Scott got out of an SUV and yelled anti-Latino and anti-gay slurs as they beat José Sucuzhañay, 31, and his brother with a broken beer bottle and an aluminum baseball bat as they were walking home arm in arm from a party.
Investigators say Phoenix was behind the wheel.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly credits the NYPD's Real Time Crime Center and hours of detective work for the break in the case.
"Through this painstaking process, detectives obtained a photograph of the suspect and were able to document the fact that he crossed the Triborough Bridge 19 minutes after Jose was killed," said Kelly.
Authorities say Phoenix had used Scott's name as an alias in the past, which led them to Scott.
"He told detectives that news accounts about the two brothers had troubled him and that he was glad to finally get it off his chest," said Kelly.
Public officials at the press conference expressed their outrage.
"These arrests will not lessen the terrible pain an anger felt by Jose's family and friends, or by our city's Ecuadorian community. But it will let them and every New Yorker know that we take hate crimes seriously," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
"If there was ever a message to the people of this city or anywhere as to why heterosexuals have to stand up and not permit this kind of violence to members of the LGBT community, it is this case," said Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes.
There is a $22,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Keith Phoenix.
Anyone with information about the case is being asked to contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-577-TIPS, by texting TIP577 to CRIMES, or by going to NYPDCrimeStoppers.com.