Four arrested in SI immigrant beating

Police source credits Eyewitness News with info leading to arrests
April 9, 2010 10:13:53 PM PDT
Four people are under arrest in the beating of a 26-year-old Mexican man on Staten Island, believed to be a hate crime. Fearing for his life, Rodulfo Olmedo described the beating as brutal and savage.

He was hit in the head. His face is swollen and there are bruises on his arms.

While he says they were shouting racial slurs at him, he was only thinking about the pain he was suffering.

He is still scared after learning four suspects have been arrested.

Rolston Hopson, Tyrone Goodman, William Marcano (all 17 years old) and a fourth suspect who is 15 face charges of assault as a hate crime, gang assault, robbery and a hate crime of aggravated harassment.

An NYPD source credits the arrests with a tip after coverage was seen on Thursday night on Eyewitness News.

Caught on surveillance cameras, the video first shown on Eyewitness News, Rodulfo is seen returning to his apartment just steps from the bakery where he works when he is set upon by four teenagers wielding baseball bats and chains. Another camera shows them pounding on him while police say they were shouting racial insults.

"We believe at this time that they selected this victim either in whole or in substantial part because he was a Mexican," Richmond County District Attorney Daniel Donovan said.

One suspect then rifled through Rodulfo's pockets, grabbing a wallet and cell phone, before leaving him unconscious and bleeding.

As his family listens to his fight to survive, fighting back their own tears, Rodulfo says he has no hatred for the attackers, but he hopes they understand the pain they have caused him and his family.

Police say a database of people who are stopped and searched, which has drawn sharp criticism, was used in tracking down the suspects.

Marta Carrion works with Olmedo, a baker, and admits she's often afraid to walk the streets.

"We are all afraid around here," she said.