Beating death investigated as hate crime

March 15, 2011 2:44:34 PM PDT
The beating death of a teen in Queens is being investigated as a hate crime, police said.

Police found Anthony Collao, 18, in an abandoned house on 90th Street shortly before 1:00 Saturday morning.

Collao had severe head trauma, police said. EMS transported him to Jamaica Medical Center, where he died on Monday.

"It appears to have all the elements of a hate crime and now a hate crime homicide," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

What began as a birthday party at the abandoned building in Queens turned ugly police say when a group of five men, not wanting to pay the seven dollars cover, began pushing their way inside.

"They started making homophobic remarks," Kelly said.

Windows were broken and even neighbors could see how rowdy things were becoming.

Back outside, according to a criminal complaint, one of the five said "get the f***k out of the front, this is my hood" and then began chasing 18-year old Anthony Collao and another man down 90th Street.

A block and half later, they caught Collao.

"I pretty much saw people fighting. I came outside called the cops and pretty much saw the kid's body on the floor," resident Erol Bal said. "They were just beating on him. I didn't really hear anything in terms of any references; just 'get that mother f-er' as opposed to anything like ethnicity."

Friends told the Daily News that Collao had a girlfriend and was not gay, although the party hosts are.

Police have arrested four teens on manslaughter charges.

They are identified as Alex Velez, Nolis Ogando, Christopher Lozada and Luis Tabales.

They are charged with manslaughter.

Hate crimes detectives is taking a look at the case to see if bias charges are warranted.