Nassau County police arrested three teenage boys on robbery charges on Saturday, including one they said was responsible for a series of robberies and assaults targeting Hispanics in Hempstead dating to November.
Police said the three -- Nicholas Gardner, Deshawn Martin and Cecil Brothers, all 17 years old and all from Hempstead -- robbed a 53-year-old man at 6:10 p.m. on Nov. 25.
The three knocked the victim to the ground, punching and kicking him before taking his wallet, police said. The victim was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Within the hour, Nassau police said Hempstead Village police received a call reporting a robbery on Jerusalem Avenue.
Hempstead police reported that Gardner had gone up to a 37-year-old man and punched him in the face before taking his keys and running away, according to Nassau police.
As police investigated that robbery, they determined that Martin and Brothers had been involved in the previous robbery, police said.
Martin and Brothers were arrested by Nassau police and charged with first-degree robbery, two counts of second-degree robbery and second-degree assault, police said.
Meanwhile, at 6:40 p.m. on Dec. 4, Gardner tried to take a bicycle from a 39-year-old man at Henry Street and Albemarle Avenue, punching the man in the face before running away, police said.
Then, at 4:20 p.m. on Friday, Gardner went up to a 33-year-old man who was in front of 386 Fulton Ave., punched him in the head and mouth, and demanded money from him, police said.
The victim ran away and found a Hempstead police car, describing Gardner to the officer.
The officer found another victim in the parking lot of 400 Fulton Ave., where police said Gardner had pushed a 76-year-old man to the ground and was punching and kicking him, bruising his face.
Hempstead police found Gardner at 2:45 p.m. Saturday in Kennedy Park in Hempstead and arrested him.
Gardner was charged with first-degree robbery, five counts of second-degree robbery, four counts of second-degree attempted robbery and four counts of second-degree assault.
Gardner targeted Hispanic men and was also charged with bias crimes, Nassau police said.
He was arraigned on Sunday at First District Court in Hempstead. He entered a plea of not guilty and the court set bail at $1 million bond and $500,000 cash. His next court date is Jan. 8 in Nassau County Court.
Police ask anyone who knows anything about these or similar crimes to call the Nassau County Police Third Squad at 516-573-6353. Callers will remain anonymous.
-- With Lauren R. Harrison