New York man faces hate crime charges in attacks on Latinos
A New York man who was arrested on Sunday faces hate crime charges after being accused of targeting three Latino men in what authorities have described as separate attacks on Long Island.
The man, Christopher Cella, 19, will be brought to justice on Monday on multiple counts of aggravated harassment, obstruction of breathing, unlawful imprisonment and reckless endangerment, County Police said. Suffolk.
Two of the allegations will be charged under the state’s hate crimes law, the police department said.
The first incident happened Friday morning, police said, when Cella visited a Mexican restaurant in Farmingville and picked up a man identified as a 52-year-old resident of the nearby community of Holbrook.
Cella took the man to an abandoned construction site and attacked him, police said. Police did not say how the man was attacked or whether he escaped or was injured. Investigators did not immediately respond to a request for more details.
Cella is accused of driving in an area near a 7-11 in Farmingville less than an hour later and picking up a 60-year-old man in another nearby town. The man was taken to a condominium complex and suffocated before escaping, police said.
Cella reportedly returned to the site on 7-11 Saturday morning and picked up a third person, who authorities described as a 47-year-old man from Brentwood. Cella is accused of trying to take him to an unidentified location; the man fled after becoming a suspect, police said.
Cella was arrested Sunday morning at his home without incident, authorities said. He was held overnight in a local jail, and it was not difficult to know if he had retained the services of a lawyer.
The police department did not say what the motive might have been or how the men were persuaded to get into the car.