Two men returning from a Halloween event were assaulted by three men in Long Island’s Nassau County early Sunday morning in what police are calling a hate crime. According to Newsday, the one man captured told police, “God made me hate gay people.”
Shouting an anti-gay slur, three assailants beat a man and his cross-dressing friend before stealing $7 from one of them, Nassau County police said Thursday. One of the assailants has been charged with hate crimes, police said. Robert Bellamy Jr., 23, was charged with robbery and assault. At his arraignment at First District Court in Hempstead Thursday, Judge Robert A. Bruno ordered the Lakeview man jailed on $100,000 bond or $50,000 cash bail. The attack occurred in Lakeview in the early hours of Sunday and police said it was possible the man in drag was dressed in women’s clothes for Halloween. Bellamy told police, “God made me hate gay people,” court records show. He was represented in court by Legal Aid Society lawyer Taryn Shechter, who said Bellamy attends a trade school in Wyandanch and lives with his mother. Bellamy’s accomplices are still at large, Nassau Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey, said at a news conference at the department’s Mineola headquarters. County Executive Thomas Suozzi, who stood with Mulvey, called combating hate crime a “priority of our administration.” “If you commit a hate crime in Nassau County, we’re going to do everything we can to arrest you, put you in jail and make your life miserable,” Suozzi said.
The two victims were treated for facial injuries and released from a local hospital. The one captured assailant has been charged with robbery as a hate crime and two counts of assault as a hate crime.