Police have arrested a 17-year-old boy in connection with an attack against a 15-year-old Mexican boy. The attack reportedly happened on Wednesday night near North Burgher Avenue and Doe Place. Officials say the victim was approached by a group of black men, and 17-year-old Yashua Plair pulled out a knife as the victim attempted to walk away. The group stole his iPod while yelling anti-Mexican slurs.
Plair was charged with robbery and menacing as Hate Crimes, but a few locals don't believe the attack was biased. Neighbor Brooklyn St. John told WABC, "He's my friend, and everybody's friend....I don't think it's not a hate crime because we have a bunch of Mexicans that live right there that never been robbed, never been touched. We have Hindus, we have all different types of people. He just got robbed because he had something that they wanted." Another neighbor said, "I don't think it's a hate crime, it's just a recession out there."
Archbishop Timothy Dolan will be saying mass today St. Mary's of the Assumption Church on Staten Island in an effort to promote healing in the community, as many are outraged that these crimes continue. One neighbor said, "I hope it stops. There's no point of hitting another guy. Why, because he doesn't speak English?"