Hate crime charges dropped in Staten Island incident

September 14, 2010 2:45:38 PM PDT
Prosecutors on Staten Island say they're dropping hate crime charges against a 17-year-old accused of attacking a Hispanic teen.

Christian Vazquez said he was attacked earlier this summer by four or five men when he was returning from work.

Extra officers had been policing the area because of a series of earlier anti-Hispanic attacks. Vazquez was reported to be the eleventh victim since April.

But prosecutors announced Tuesday that new information had come to light.

They alleged that an altercation began as Vazquez bought marijuana from a group of people. They said he was unable to identify the teen who had been accused of the bias crime.

The dismissal must be approved by a judge.

Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan said the other incidents are still classified as suspected hate crimes.