Main | Friday, October 15, 2010

Bronx Bashers: We Didn't Do It

Yesterday ten members of the Latin King Goonies gang pleaded not guilty to the brutal gay-bashings of three men in the Bronx.
The 10 men appeared one by one before a judge in the Bronx as prosecutors said they were ready to present evidence to indict them on various charges including assault, sexual abuse and harassment, all as hate crimes. Authorities say the Oct. 3 attacks at a Bronx home were touched off because gang members thought one of their recruits was gay. A 17-year-old was beaten and sodomized with a plunger handle, police say. Another 17-year-old also thought to be gay was attacked, and a 30-year-old and his brother were beaten as well. Their laywers said they are innocent. "Please stop running to judgment," said Sanders Dennis, attorney for alleged ringleader Idelfonzo Mendez. "Stop making him a monster. Let the system play it out." Defendant Ruddy Vargas-Perez [photo below] is "absolutely distraught," said his lawyer, Benjamin Heinrich. "Ruddy is as appalled as everyone else." Vargas-Perez, who is out on bail, left the courtroom surrounded by family and friends. His lawyer prevented him from talking to reporters. "Ruddy is a working man" with a job in construction, Heinrich said. "He pays his taxes."

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