The police's announcement that seven members of the Latin King Goonies were arrested for torturing three men, apparently for being gay, offered horrifying details of the crimes. Now, there are more details about the cruel attacks which City Council Speaker Christine Quinn called "appalling and are even more despicable because the victims were clearly targeted in acts of hate simply because they are gay."
On Sunday at 3:30 a.m., nine Latin King Goonies allegedly dragged a 17-year-old—who hoped to join the gang—into an abandoned house at 1910 Osborne Place, stripped him, slashed with a box cutter, beaten with a beer can, demanded to know the name of a 30-year-old man he slept with, and then sodomized him with a toilet plunger. They let him go, but allegedly threatened to kill him if he told anyone about the attack; the victim went to the hospital but only said he was jumped and robbed.
Then, at 8:30 p.m., the suspects grabbed another 17-year-old who also admitted to having sex with the same 30-year-old man, also beating and sodomizing this teen as well as robbing him. They kept this victim while luring the 30-year-old to the apartment, claiming there was a party. The 30-year-old arrived with 10 tall cans of the malt liquor Four Loko. According to the NY Times:
The attackers forced the man to strip to his underwear and tied him to a chair, the police said. [The second teen victim] was still there, and the “Goonies” ordered him to attack the man. The teenager hit him in the face and burned him with a cigarette on his nipple and penis as the others jeered and shouted gay slurs, the police said. Then the attackers whipped the man with a chain and sodomized him with a small baseball bat. The beatings and robberies went on for hours...
The attackers forced the man to drink all 10 cans of liquor — each about twice the size of a can of beer, with a higher alcohol content, 10 percent to 12 percent, according to Four Loko’s Web site.
While the man was held captive and attacked, five of the Latin King Goonies went to his house, which he shared with his 40-year-old brother. Using a key taken from the 30-year-old to get inside, they found his brother in bed. They pulled a blanket over his head and hit him, demanding money. When he refused, one placed a cellphone to the brother’s ear, and he heard the voice of his younger brother, who said he had been kidnapped and who pleaded, “Give them the money.”
The brother complied. The men took $1,000 in cash, two debit cards and a 52-inch television.
On Monday, the brother, after freeing himself, called the police. Cops actually saw the 30-year-old victim in his apartment building, "passed out on the landing from the alcohol he had consumed," but didn't question him, since they had no idea about the torture. But they found out a little about the incident upon a second visit to the apartment to inquire about the robbery. In the meantime, police were trying to investigate the first victim's claim about being robbed near 1910 Osborne, but didn't have enough evidence for a search warrant. When the second victim went to the police on Tuesday, and offered the address (the Times says all victims were not initially "fully forthcoming, fearing reprisal and wanting to keep their lives a secret"), the police were able to obtain a warrant.
At the abandoned building, police found a cleaned-up and re-painted. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the suspects tried to clean things up, “Lots of bleach and paint were used to cover the blood shed by their tortured prey. they even poured bleach down the drains." Cops were able to retrieve some evidence, but the big tip was when an onlooker slipped the cops his number and later gave them the name of the alleged ringleader, Ildefonzo Mendez.
The Daily News says the house, "across the street from a public school," was dubbed the "Goonie House" by neighbors: "Gang members threw parties and had sex there. As many as a dozen pit bulls guarded the place. 'They'd have meets there every Friday,' said a 33-year-old woman too terrified to reveal her name. 'They're running crazy from there - hurting people, taking stuff. Latin Kings don't let gay people in their nation.'" Another resident told the Times that he was concerned when the group started to squat in the house—"From the start, you could tell they were trouble"—but his discussions with neighbors to do something about them went nowhere.
Mendez and six others, ages 16 to 22, are facing charges of unlawful imprisonment, abduction, assault, robbery, menacing and sodomy, all as hate crimes. Two other suspects are at large. A police source told the Daily News that the suspects were"still passing blame to one another last night" —"Nobody wants to take responsibility for the plunger. One guy is lying through his teeth."