A Patchogue man was taken to Suffolk County jail Saturday after being arraigned on a hate crime charge for allegedly assaulting a Hispanic man because he believed his victim was Mexican, according to court records and officials.
Ramon Rodriguez, 20, was arraigned in Central Islip and taken the county jail in Riverhead after he failed to post $50,000 cash bail, according to court records.
Rodriguez's next court appearance is scheduled for Thursday.
Court records state that on Division Street in Patchogue on Aug. 14, Rodriguez and two other men punched and kicked a 22-year-old Ecuadorean immigrant, knocking him to the ground. The assault happened about 11:30 p.m.
During the attack, Rodriguez said, "You're a . . . Mexican."
The men took cash and other personal items from Gonzalez, police said.
An immigrant was stabbed to death in the same neighborhood last year. That killing helped spur an ongoing U.S. Justice Department investigation into bias crimes on eastern Long Island.
Court records show that Rodriguez had been arrested July 3 on charges of driving with a suspended license and possession of marijuana.
Rodriguez faces a $250,000 cash bail on those charges.