The NYPD announced that seven members of the Latin Kings were arrested for attacking three gay men. Two other suspects are still at large and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly called the incidents "cowardly and despicable.. This was not part of an initiation. This was a reaction to the fact that they had engaged in homosexual activity."

One of the victims, a 17-year-old who was apparently trying to join the Latin King Goonies, was grabbed off the street at 3:30 a.m. on Sunday in the Morris Heights section. Kelly said, "He was thrown into a wall, made to strip naked, hit in the head with a beer can, cut with a box cutter and sodomized with the wooden handle of a plunger." City Room details the other attacks:

About 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, the street crew members grabbed a second 17-year-old, took him to the same apartment and grilled him about his contact with the same 30-year-old man, the police said. Then they lured the 30-year-old man to the apartment by telling him a party was being held there and forced the teenager to hit him and burn him with a cigarette, the police said.

The assailants also brutalized the 30-year-old, hitting hit him with a chain, sodomizing him with a small baseball bat and forcing him to drink 10 cans of the alcohol-spiked energy drink they asked him to bring to the party — a brand called Four Loko, Mr. Kelly said. While holding the man hostage, the attackers took his keys, went to his apartment and robbed his brother of $1,000 and two debit cards, Mr. Kelly said.


Kelly grimly said, "One of the suspects said later the [30-year-old] man was beaten for hours and then dumped outside of his home. These suspects had employed terrible wolf pack odds of 9-1. Odds that reveled them as predators whose crimes were as cowardly as they were despicable."

The suspects in custody are Ildefonzo Mendez, 23; David Rivera, 21; Nelson Falu, 18; Steven Carballo, 17; Denis Peitars, 17; Bryan Almonte, 17; and Brian Cepeda, 16; while 23-year-old Elmer Confessor and 22-year-old Rudy Vargas-Perez are at large. Police say the group went back to the apartment where the attacks occurred and tried to clean the crime scene, painting over some areas and using bleach, but cops were still able to find evidence.

These arrests come after two apparent hate crimes last weekend—a gay couple was attacked in Chelsea while a gay man was beaten in the bathroom of the Stonewall Inn.