While millions across New York City were celebrating Barack Obama's election victory on November 4th, a group of young Staten Island men went on a violent rampage that left two young black men beaten and another man in a coma, prosecutors say. Three of the alleged attackers were arraigned in Federal District Court in Brooklyn today and charged with conspiracy to interfere with voting rights in their efforts to "injure, oppress, threaten and intimidate" black people on election night, the Times reports. Each plead not guilty.

Prosecutors say Ralph Nicoletti, 18; Michael Contreras, 18; and Brian Carranza, 21; styled themselves as a gang called the "Rosebank Krew," or "RBK." On November 4th they gathered at a "makeshift outdoor clubhouse" to watch the election results on the Internet. After Obama's win, they decided to set out for an area of Staten Island they called "n-----town," according to the Daily News. Their first victim was 17-year-old Ali Kamara, a black Muslim who they allegedly beat with a metal pipe and a collapsible police baton while screaming, "Obama!"

After a number of other less-violent assaults, the RBK ran over a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt who they believed was black. It was 38-year-old Ronald Forte, a white supervisor at ShopRite; he spent 45 days in a coma. Forte's mother told reporters yesterday, "He has to learn how to walk and talk again. I have watched my son in a coma, for 45 days, while those boys were out. They left him in a gutter to die. I had to leave my job to take care of my 38-year-old son because of some senseless act, and it's never going to go away."

Carranza (pictured left) was freed on $200,000 bond yesterday, but Contreras is being held until the state courts lift an order of protection barring him from being around his stepfather. As for Nicoletti—who's had a rap sheet since he was 14—the magistrate refused to release him on bail because prosecutors say he's trying to intimidate witnesses. His younger brother Anthony is currently doing time on Rikers for running people over, and the Staten Island Advance has it that FBI agents found a letter from Anthony in which he called himself "Boss Behind Bars" and asserted that he could "kill a person’s family."

Photo of Bryan Garaventa, left, and Ralph Nicoletti, right, courtesy Staten Island Advance/Michael Oates.