2005_06_howbeachcover.jpgThe city is still reeling from the racial attack on three black men, which resulted in a serious head injury for one, in Howard Beach. It was revealed that 19 year-old Nicholas Minucci, the first man arrested, had previously been arrested for beating a Sikh man after September 11, allegedly saying, "F---ing Arab! Why don't you blow this up!" Another man, Anthony Ench, was arrested, while the third member of the group, Frankie Agostini, turned himself in with his police detective father and was not charged (he's a witness). The Daily News and Post point out that Minucci aspired to a kind of hip-hop, "blingy" life, wearing a $6,000 Rolex, $4,000 gold chain and driving his cousin's $60,000 car.

Howard Beach residents had been on edge because of recent robberies, and have been trying to tell the media that attitudes in the mostly white neighborhood have changed - though some are still in the process of accepting minorities. While initial repots had said the three black men were looking for a car to steal, one of them, Richard Pope, said he was the only one who wanted to steal a car and the other didn't know anything about it. At any rate, the city has been quick to emphasize they weren't committing a crime when they were attacked. Mayor Bloomberg has aggressively been reminding New Yorkers that the city will not stand for intolerant behavior. Reverend Al Sharpton, who had led a march to protest the 1986 Howard Beach attack, had praised the mayor's response; Sharpton is also planning another protest for this attack.