Teens accused in Patchogue hate crime face new charges

Long before prosecutors accused seven Patchogue-Medford High School students of taking part in a fatal, ethnically motivated attack on an Ecuadorean immigrant, the teens went on a yearlong campaign to batter and terrorize Latinos all over their community, according to an indictment unsealed in Riverhead yesterday.

In small groups with shifting members, the teens sent one Hispanic man after another to the hospital with injuries, prosecutors said. Here, according to the new indictments, are just a few highlights from 13 violent months:

Last July, at least two of the teens beat a Hispanic man unconscious, stealing his money and shoes.

In December, three of them harassed and menaced a lone Hispanic man with a pipe, telling him, "You're dead."

In June, several of the teens pinned still another man to the ground, beating him and lunging at his stomach with a knife, slicing his belt, pants and skin.

"All of the defendants participated in what we consider to be a violent and racially driven pastime," Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota said outside court, adding that during the attacks "the defendants called their victims such things as 'beaners' and 'wetbacks.'"

The seven students were initially charged after prosecutors said they surrounded Marcelo Lucero, 37, as he walked home on the night of Nov. 8. They taunted and pummeled him, prosecutors said, before one of the students, Jeffrey Conroy, 17, of Medford, stabbed Lucero fatally.

Conroy pleaded not guilty in the attack, along with Christopher Overton, 16, of East Patchogue; Jose Pacheco, 17, of East Patchogue; Kevin Shea, Nicholas Hausch, Jordan Dasch, and Anthony Hartford, all 17 and of Medford.

Yesterday, Overton, Pacheco, Hausch, Dasch and Hartford pleaded not guilty to a slew of second-degree robbery, assault, gang assault or hate crime charges as tearful members of their family looked on.

"This is good news for the people who have been assaulted," said Lucero's brother, Joselo Lucero, who credited a recent federal review of hate crimes in Suffolk with bringing these cases to light.

Outside court, Overton's lawyer, Paul Gianelli of Hauppauge, accused prosecutors of blaming his client and the others for a rash of attacks on Hispanics that were reported after Lucero's death.

"They're just piling on," Gianelli said. "I think they're just trying to clear every unsolved crime here involving a Hispanic complainant."

Spota insisted that his office had brought charges only in cases where the evidence was certain. "We have interviewed 25 victims of crimes," he said. "We have charged these defendants with eight. We are not piling on."

Still, Latino advocates criticized Suffolk law enforcement for what they said was a failure to take violence against Latinos seriously before Lucero's death.

"The question is: Where were the Suffolk County police in all this?" said the Rev. Allan Ramirez, pastor of Brookville Reformed Church, who does outreach work in Patchogue.

At least three of the victims mentioned in the indictment - Luis Piña Tigre, Robert Zumba and Carlos Orellana - said they reported attacks to police before Lucero's killing, yet received little follow-up.

Ramirez said that many Latinos who've been attacked in Patchogue say that when they report attacks to police, officers tell them, "You're men, they're kids," and there is nothing authorities can do.

"Our review indicates the cases were investigated, but the Suffolk County Police Department was not privy to the additional information that has since surfaced since the tragic death of Mr. Lucero," Dormer said last night. He declined to elaborate on that information or on whether these attacks were classified as hate crimes before Lucero was killed.

Conroy and Shea, both still behind bars, are scheduled to be arraigned on the new charges next week.

Except for Hausch, Doyle set bail for all of the suspects arraigned yesterday at $25,000 cash or $100,000 bond, in addition to their bail on the Lucero attack that was set at $250,000 cash or $500,000 bond. The judge set bail for Hausch - charged yesterday with attacking just one of the eight new victims - at $10,000 cash or $50,000 bond.

Staff writers Bart Jones and Laura Rivera contributed to this story.

THE CASE

There are seven Long Islanders charged in the Nov. 8, 2008, slaying of Marcelo Lucero. The seven also now face accusations stemming from 12 other Patchogue area incidents.

WHAT THEY FACE

All seven are charged in the death of Marcelo Lucero, pictured at right.

-- Jeffrey Conroy is charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime., first-degree manslaughter as a hate crime, first-degree gang assault, fourth-degree conspiracy to commit a gang assault.

-- Jordan Dasch, Anthony Hartford, Nicholas Hausch, Christopher Overton, Jose Pacheco and Kevin Shea each are charged with first-degree gang assault and fourth-degree conspiracy to commit a gang assault.

JEFFREY CONROY

Incidents detailed yesterday

DEC. 9, 2007

(2ND ATTACK ON HERNANDEZ)

JUNE 24, 2008

(ATTACK ON ROBERT ZUMBA)

JULY 14, 2008

(ATTACK ON CARLOS ORELLANA)

OCT. 8, 2008

(ATTACK ON JOAQUIN GUTIERREZ)

NOV. 3, 2008

(ATTACK ON OCTAVIO CORDOVOO)

DETAILED IN NOVEMBER

NOV. 8, 2008

(ATTACK ON MARCELO LUCERO)

NOV. 8, 2008

(ATTACK ON ANGEL LOJA)

NOV. 8, 2008

(ATTACK ON HECTOR SIERRA)

In attack on Loja: 2nd-degree attempted assault as a hate crime, 2nd-degree attempted gang assault; on Sierra: 2nd-degree attempted assault as a hate crime, 2nd-degree attempted gang assault; in Dec. 9 attack on Hernandez: 2nd-degree attempted robbery as a hate crime, aggravated harassment; on Zumba: 2nd-degree attempted assault, menacing, harassment; on Orellana: 2nd-degree robbery as a hate crime, 2nd-degree attempted assault as a hate crime, aggravated harassment; on Gutierrez: 2nd-degree attempted assault as a hate crime, assault; on Cordovo: 2nd-degree attempted gang assault, 2nd-degree attempted assault as a hate crime.

Jose Pacheco

Incidents detailed yesterday

DEC. 2, 2007

(ATTACK ON JOSE HERNANDEZ)

DEC. 9, 2007

(2ND ATTACK ON HERNANDEZ)

JULY 14, 2008

(ATTACK ON CARLOS ORELLANA)

NOV. 3, 2008

(ATTACK ON OCTAVIO CORDOVO)

DETAILED IN NOVEMBER

NOV. 8, 2008

(ATTACK ON MARCELO LUCERO)

NOV. 8, 2008

(ATTACK ON ANGEL LOJA)

NOV. 8, 2008

(ATTACK ON HECTOR SIERRA)

In attack on Loja: 2nd-degree attempted assault as a hate crime, 2nd-degree attempted gang assault; on Sierra: 2nd-degree attempted assault as a hate crime, 2nd-degree attempted gang assault; in Dec. 2 attack on Hernandez: 2nd-degree attempted robbery as a hate crime, aggravated harassment; in Dec. 9 attack on Hernandez: 2nd-degree attempted robbery as a hate crime, aggravated harassment; on Orellana: 2nd-degree robbery as a hate crime, 2nd-degree attempted assault as a hate crime, aggravated harassment; on Cordovo: 2nd-degree attempted gang assault, 2nd-degree attempted assault as a hate crime.

Jordan DASCH

Incidents detailed yesterday

DEC. 2, 2007

(ATTACK ON JOSE HERNANDEZ)

NOV. 8, 2008

(ATTACK ON PETRONILA FUENTES DIAZ)

DETAILED IN NOVEMBER

NOV. 8, 2008

(ATTACK ON MARCELO LUCERO)

NOV. 8, 2008

(ATTACK ON ANGEL LOJA)

NOV. 8, 2008

(ATTACK ON HECTOR SIERRA)

NOV. 8, 2008

(ATTACK ON MARLON GARCIA)

In attack on Loja: 2nd-degree attempted assault as a hate crime, 2nd-degree attempted gang assault; on Sierra: 2nd-degree attempted assault as a hate crime, 2nd-degree attempted gang assault; on Garcia: 2nd-degree assault as a hate crime, 4th-degree criminal mischief; in Dec. 2 attack on Hernandez: 2nd-degree attempted robbery as a hate crime, aggravated harassment; on Diaz: 2nd-degree attempted gang assault, 2nd-degree attempted assault as a hate crime.

Christopher OVERTON

Incidents detailed yesterday

OCT. 8, 2008

(ATTACK ON JOAQUIN GUTIERREZ)

DETAILED IN NOVEMBER

NOV. 8, 2008

(ATTACK ON MARCELO LUCERO)

NOV. 8, 2008

(ATTACK ON ANGEL LOJA)

NOV. 8, 2008

(ATTACK ON HECTOR SIERRA)

In attack on Loja: 2nd-degree attempted assault as a hate crime, 2nd-degree attempted gang assault; on Sierra: 2nd-degree attempted assault as a hate crime, 2nd-degree attempted gang assault; on Gutierrez: 2nd-degree attempted gang assault, 2nd-degree attempted assault as a hate crime.

Nicholas HAUSCH

INCIDENTS DETAILED YESTERDAY

NOV. 8, 2008

(ATTACK ON PETRONILA FUENTES DIAZ)

DETAILED IN NOVEMBER

NOV. 8, 2008

(ATTACK ON MARCELO LUCERO)

NOV. 8, 2008

(ATTACK ON ANGEL LOJA)

NOV. 8, 2008

(ATTACK ON HECTOR SIERRA)

NOV. 8, 2008

(ATTACK ON MARLON GARCIA)

In attack on Loja: 2nd-degree attempted assault as a hate crime, 2nd-degree attempted gang assault; on Sierra: 2nd-degree attempted assault as a hate crime, 2nd-degree attempted gang assault; on Garcia: 2nd-degree assault as a hate crime; on Diaz: 2nd-degree attempted gang assault, 2nd-degree attempted assault as a hate crime.

Anthony HARTFORD

INCIDENTS DETAILED YESTERDAY

DEC. 9, 2007

(2ND ATTACK ON HERNANDEZ)

MARCH 17, 2008

(ATTACK ON JAVIER MONROV)

NOV. 3, 2008 [CORRECTION: In a chart yesterday, the name of one of eight Hispanic men mentioned in indictments as a Patchogue-area hate crime victim was misspelled. His name is Javier Monroy Gonzalez. (A18 ALL 01/30/09)]

(ATTACK ON OCTAVIO CORDOVO)

NOV. 8, 2008

(ATTACK ON PETRONILA FUENTES DIAZ)

DETAILED IN NOVEMBER

NOV. 8, 2008

(ATTACK ON MARCELO LUCERO)

NOV. 8, 2008

(ATTACK ON ANGEL LOJA)

NOV. 8, 2008

(ATTACK ON HECTOR SIERRA)

In attack on Loja: 2nd-degree attempted assault as a hate crime, 2nd-degree attempted gang assault; on Sierra: 2nd-degree attempted assault as a hate crime, 2nd-degree attempted gang assault; in Dec. 9 attack on Hernandez: 2nd-degree attempted robbery as a hate crime, aggravated harassment; on Monrov: 3rd-degree robbery, 2nd-degree assault; on Cordovo: 2nd-degree attempted gang assault, 2nd-degree attempted assault as a hate crime; on Diaz: 2nd-degree attempted gang assault, 2nd-degree attempted assault as a hate crime.

Kevin SHEA

INCIDENTS DETAILED YESTERDAY

SEPT. 23, 2007

(ATTACK ON LUIS PINA TIGRE)

NOV. 3, 2008

(ATTACK ON OCTAVIO CORDOVO)

DETAILED IN NOVEMBER

NOV. 8, 2008

(ATTACK ON MARCELO LUCERO)

NOV. 8, 2008

(ATTACK ON ANGEL LOJA)

NOV. 8, 2008

(ATTACK ON HECTOR SIERRA)

In attack on Loja: 2nd-degree attempted assault as a hate crime, 2nd-degree attempted gang assault; on Sierra: 2nd-degree attempted assault as a hate crime, 2nd-degree attempted gang assault; on Tigre: 2nd-degree assault as a hate crime, 2nd-degree attempted assault as a hate crime; on Cordovo: 2nd-degree attempted gang assault, 2nd-degree attempted assault as a hate crime.

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