3 Teens Accused of Beating Boy, 14, For Being Gay

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Thursday October 14, 2010

Less than two weeks after a gang beat and sexually assaulted several men in the Bronx, three Long Island teens were arrested for twice attacking a victim they thought was gay. The attacks took place two days in a row--and both attacks were carried out on a school bus.

The victim had been harassed for months, media stories said. When the bias-motivated bullying got physical on the afternoon of Oct. 12, the beating was severe: WPIX-TV reported in an Oct. 14 story that the 14-year-old victim was stomped on and kicked by the three teens, who were identified as David Spencer, 18, Chase Morrison, 16, and Roy Wilson, 14. The assault was carried out on the school bus after classes that day.

The three assailants repeated their attack the following morning, again on the bus, on the way back to school. The boys slapped the victim and hurled anti-gay abuse at him, the article said. The driver and a bus monitor were questioned as to what happened. Though the driver stopped the bus at one point due to the assault, neither adult reported the attack against the boy.

The teens all attend Nassau BOCES High School in the town of Hicksville, according to NBC New York.com, which reported on Oct. 14 that the victim had suffered harassment for months leading up to the attacks. "There was an ongoing course of conduct against this particular student," according to Lawrence Mulvey, a commissioner with the Nassau county police. "It's hard to believe we would have an incident like this after what happened in the Bronx and at Rutgers," Mulvey added.

The bias-motivated assault took place in the wake of a string of suicides across the country by youths who were bullied and harassed at school for being gay, or for being perceived as gay. One recent suicide was Tyler Clementi, 18, who was a freshman at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

All three perpetrators in the Long Island assault were charged with third-degree assault, which is a misdemeanor. Morrison and Spencer were also charged with a felony, second-degree aggravated harassment, the NBC site said.

Newsday reported on Oct. 14 that the charges were enhanced by one degree due to the bias-motivated nature of the crime. "We felt this was bias-related," said Det. Lt. John MacEwen, who spoke at the same media conference Mulvey attended.

The brutal anti-gay attacks in the Bronx were similarly motivated by anti-gay bias when nine members of a gang, the Latin King Goonies, suspected that one of their recruits might be gay, the Associated Press reported Oct. 8. The gang allegedly attacked the youth, 17, on Oct. 3, beating him, sexually assaulting him with a plunger handle, and interrogating him about an older man, a 30-year-old whom the gang subsequently targeted. The older man's brother was also assaulted in a home invasion undertaken by the gang.

Even as the man's brother was being attacked and robbed, the 30-year-old himself was being assaulted in another location, together with the second 17-year-old, media stories reported. The teen was also forced to burn the older man using cigarettes, and the gang sexually assaulted the older man in much the same manner as they had assaulted the first teenager.

"These suspects employed terrible wolf-pack odds of nine-against-one, odds which revealed them as predators whose crimes were as cowardly as they were despicable," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told the press.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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