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Long IslandSuffolk

Hispanic man claims Patchogue robbers also used slurs

A Hispanic man has told police that three young white men attacked and robbed him in Patchogue and yelled disparaging remarks about his ancestry, authorities said Sunday.

The incident is the first reported bias crime against a Hispanic victim in Patchogue in the nine months since a group of teenagers was accused in the stabbing death of Ecuadorean immigrant Marcelo Lucero, said Village of Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri.

"It's distressing that it happened at all," Pontieri said last night as he awaited more details. "Who knows why and who knows the circumstances? I don't know yet."

The victim told Suffolk police detectives that he was walking on Division Avenue, near West Avenue at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday when three young white men hanging out in a parking lot called out to him, police said.

One of the men allegedly struck the victim in the face and knocked him to the ground, police said. Cash and other personal items were stolen from the man, police said.

During the incident, police said in a statement, "disparaging remarks were made about the victim's ancestry."

Police said there may have been witnesses to the assault and asked anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS or the police department at 631-852-6323.

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