Last night, another Mexican immigrant was attacked on the streets of Port Richmond in Staten Island. A 17-year-old Mexican boy was allegedly attacked and robbed by three men yelling racial slurs on his way home from work near Castleton and Simonson Avenues. This is the 11th time the NYPD's Hates Crimes Task Force has investigated an incident in the area this year. However, the community is not sure whether to label the attack a hate crime.

One of the assailants was allegedly Hispanic, and though that does not mean he is Mexican (nor should it matter), it could mean a different classification for the attack. The three men also robbed the victim of $10, suggesting a different motive. The Hispanic man allegedly approached the victim around 2:30 a.m., distracting him as two black men attacked him from behind. They punched him in the face several times, and allegedly yelled "Go home you (expletive) Mexican!" Staten Island Borough president James Molinaro explained a few days ago that they want to be careful when applying labels to crimes. "It's easy to just holler 'bias.' It's easy. It's the easiest thing to do, but you have to prove it."

It seems both locals and police are baffled as to how the attack happened, considering the heightened police presence in the neighborhood. Rev. Terry Troia of Communities United for Respect and Trust said, "This morning's beating is not only an act of violence, it is an act of defiance, which flies in the face of a community putting forth its best effort to create a peaceful and safe neighborhood." The police have two 24-hour Sky Watch towers in the neighborhood, and has dozens of patrol cars on the streets. However, a few locals say the patrols seem to die down around 1 a.m., much earlier than when many of the attacks take place. One Port Richmond resident wondered, "The police are here now, but for how long? What is going to happen when this all dies down?"