Still at large: Ruddy Vargas-Perez

Eight of nine gang members have been arrested following a brutal attack in New York City’s Bronx district of two teens and a man because they are gay.

The gang, who call themselves the Latin King Goonies, first kidnapped a 17-year-old boy who had apparently wanted to join the group. He was held in an apartment where he was forced to admit to having sex with a 30 year old man, apparently his boyfriend.

According to police the teen was stripped naked, beaten, cut and sodomised with the wooden handle of a plunger.

The gang later abducted another 17 year old and also accused him of having had a relationship with the same older man.

Finally, the 30 year old man was lured to the apartment and the gang forced the second teen to beat the man and burn him with cigarettes. The man was also beaten with a chain and sodomised with a small baseball bat.

The gang took the man’s keys and went to his apartment and robbed his brother of cash, a TV and debit cards.

“These suspects employed terrible wolf-pack odds of nine-against-one, odds which revealed them as predators whose crimes were as cowardly as they were despicable,” commented Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

“Like many New Yorkers, I was sickened by these antigay crimes,” said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “The heartless men who committed these crimes should know that New Yorkers will not tolerate them.”

The suspects have been charged with robbery, sodomy, menacing and assault as hate crimes. Some of the gang-members told police that they were forced to take part in the attack by their leader, Ildefonso (Cheto) Mendez.

One of the suspects, Ruddy Vargas-Perez, remains at large.

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