More attacks probed as hate crimes on SI

April 29, 2010 3:33:24 PM PDT
Police are stepping up patrols after two more attacks against Mexicans on Staten Island. The attacks are not yet labeled hate crimes, but they have sparked new fears among immigrants.

One victim has a broken arm, and stitches across his forehead.

All of this for 22 dollars.

His attackers are still out there, so he doesn't want to say his name or show his face.

He says the two men and women who attacked him from behind in an alleyway only wanted his money.

Immigrants' rights activists think otherwise.

"I think what's unusal is that there were three attacks with bats, or two by fours, within the last three weeks. That's what is of concern to the community," Rev. Terry Troia said.

This is the third assault on Hispanics in the Port Richmond area of Staten Island this month.

Two weeks ago, a 23-year old man stepped off a bus near the intersection of Port Avenue and Clove when someone approached him from behind and hit him on the head.

The first attack involved Rodulfo Olmedo on April 5th. That surveillance video, first aired of Eyewitness News, shows four men brutally beating Olmedo with a bat.

The NYPD Hate Crimes unit is now investigating all three.

"We will investigate both of those subsequent incidents, and if there's evidence of a biased motive, we are not shy about charging as a hate crime," Richmond County District Attorney Dan Donovan said.

As a result, there are beefed up police patrols the neighborhood. There is even an officer stationed outside of the bakery where Olmedo works.

But next door, the camera that captured his assault has been ripped out. Donovan says the man arrested for ripping down the camera is a relative of one of the four men charged with beating Olmedo.