Four Arrested For Antigay Attack on Long Island
Four men were arrested in connection to an antigay attack in Babylon, N.Y., over the weekend, which sent two of the victims to a local hospital.
Shane Buckley, 18, Justin Buckley, 17, Gregory Gilbert, 20, and Nicholas Battaglia, 18, all of Oceanside, N.Y., were walking by the two victims on Deer Park Ave., and asked them directions to the Babylon train station.
"The four assailants started yelling anti-gay slurs and crossed the street and attacked them," Assistant District Attorney Lawrence Opisso said according to Newsday. Opisso did not say what triggered the fight.
The suspects were charged with two counts of third-degree assault as a hate crime. The three older suspects were also charged with second-degree gang assault, NBC New York reports.
One of the victims suffered a broken nose, which required surgery. His attorney said his client is not gay.
"To quote a really bad Seinfeld episode, 'My client's not gay, not that there's anything wrong with that,'" Ciaccio said. "The law doesn't require someone to be in a protected class for a suspect to be charged with a hate crime."
David Kilmnick, CEO of the Long Island GLBT Network, said he hopes the Suffolk County District Attorney will "show no mercy to the attackers -- they need to be sent away to prison."
Kilmnick added, in a statement issued Monday, "The alleged anti-gay hate crime in Babylon is disturbing and frightening. Many people think that just because we are winning the right to marry in many states, that the world has changed and everything is now okay for gay people. This incident reminds us that we need to be vigilant in combatting hate and homophobia and that there still is a tremendous amount of work to do to make our Long Island a safe and welcoming community for all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and families."