4 teens charged in a beating at party

Four teenage boys have been charged with gang assault after, police said, they crashed a weekend house party in East Islip and attacked a 17-year-old.

James Burke was hospitalized after twice being held down and kicked in the face and body, Suffolk police said. The extent of his injuries wasn't known.

A fifth suspect, who police would only identify as a male juvenile, was also charged in the beating. Police would not release details on the teen's role or the nature of the charges because he is under 16.


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The fight broke out about 9:45 p.m. Saturday after more than 15 teenagers crashed a party hosted by a 15-year-old boy -- and were asked to leave and take their alcohol with them, police said.

James Gisonna, 17, and Gerald Turnier, 16, both of Islip Terrace, and Christopher Haine, 16, and Justin Ferrara, 16, both of East Islip, were each charged with second-degree gang assault, a felony.

Haine, an East Islip High School wrestler, is described in court documents as the instigator -- pushing a friend of the host and insulting Burke's girlfriend. Burke told Haine, "I'm not going to fight you; we're cool," the criminal complaint states. Witnesses said Haine attacked Burke in front of the house, dragging him to the ground. Others joined in, police said.

According to the complaint, the host's father rushed to break up the fight. The party crashers retreated and yelled more insults, prompting Burke to confront them, only to be attacked again, police said. The teens charged told police afterward that Burke was the aggressor.

District Superintendent John J. Finello said in a statement the incident was "a horrific crime" and the students facing charges are not in school. Haine, Gissona and Ferrara were arrested Tuesday, Turnier on Wednesday. Bail for each was set at $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond.

With Candice Ruud

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