Hate crime crackdown in Staten Island

July 12, 2010 3:23:07 PM PDT
A group of leaders came together in Staten Island to say that they plan to put an end to hate crimes.

"We are here to say that we are Staten Island. We will not tolerate any hate crime," said Rep. Michael McMahon of Staten Island.

That was the primary message gleaned from a gathering of leaders on Staten Island Monday, all focused on putting an end to a series of hate crimes.

"I have mixed feelings today because this is the second time I've been here to Staten Island in the last few months, not or a good reason, but for a sad reason: a vicious attack on another immigrant," said Ruben Beltran, the Consul General of Mexico.

The most recent attack happened last just last week.

A 30-year old Hispanic man was walking along Richmond Terrace when was beaten by a group of men and women yelling anti-Mexican slurs.

Just before that incident, in June, 52-year-old Alejandro Galindo was hospitalized in critical condition after being beaten by three men in what police suspect was yet another hate crime.

But the violent cycle began back in April, with the savage beating of Rodulfo Olmedo.

It was captured by a surveillance camera and four suspects were eventually arrested.

"Absolutely, there is fear in the community to walk alone at night to walk alone at anytime," said Rev. Terry Troia, of El Centrol Del Immigrante.

Community activist, Rev. Terry Troia, was among those at Monday's meeting, working to come up with solutions: civilian policing and more educational programs among them.

Troia admits this is just a first step.

"But what I saw at this table today were serious people. I know everybody at that table and I know that they're serious on trying to find an answer," Rev. Troia said.