2 face attempted murder, gang assault charges

Sergio Acosta, 18, of Inwood, left, and Erick

Sergio Acosta, 18, of Inwood, left, and Erick Pelaez, 27, of North Lawrence face charges of second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault, first-degree gang assault and fourth-degree possession of a dangerous weapon. (Credit: NCPD)

An Inwood man has been charged with attempted murder in a possible gang assault of a man more than three months ago.

Sergio Acosta, 18, the second of three men sought in the attack, was held Saturday after his arraignment in First District Court in Hempstead. He did not enter a plea through his court interpreter.

Acosta, who was arrested Friday at his home on Henry Street, is in custody at Nassau County Jail. He is scheduled to appear on the charges Tuesday in a Mineola court.


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Police said the assault occurred about 4 a.m. Feb. 23 when the 23-year-old man was beaten and stabbed by Acosta and two other men, who allegedly approached the victim after seeing him earlier at a restaurant in Lawrence.

The victim was walking on Clinton Avenue in Inwood when the three assailants attacked, authorities said.

The victim sustained seven large puncture wounds to his arms, leg and throat, causing loss of use and severe nerve damage to his left hand, according to court documents. One stab wound narrowly missed a major artery in the throat, court records say.

The suspects yelled, "This is what happens to MS-13" -- a reference to an organized gang -- as they attacked the victim, who was taken to South Nassau Community Hospital, court records show. It was unclear whether the victim is a gang member.

The three assailants fled the scene on foot southbound on Clinton Avenue, police said.

Acosta and Erick Pelaez, 27, of North Lawrence, were charged with second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault, first-degree gang assault and fourth-degree possession of a dangerous weapon.

Police said they took Pelaez into custody without incident in his home on May 4. He was arraigned the following day. He also is being held in Nassau County Jail. Police said the third suspect remains at large.

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