NEW YORK (AP) — Police on Tuesday were increasing patrols and opening up a temporary command post on a Staten Island street corner after 10 suspected hate crimes on Mexican men, and are encouraging anyone with information to come forward regardless of immigration status.
Commissioner Raymond Kelly met with Ruben Beltran, Counsel General of Mexico on Tuesday to discuss the spike in suspected hate crime attacks that has occurred since April. He said he was concerned about the attacks “and the threat they pose against individuals of Mexican descent.”
The most recent incident occurred Saturday. A Mexican man was attacked by five people as he walked from a soccer game. Police said the attackers, who were black, yelled racial slurs and then swung a scooter at the man’s head, breaking his jaw.
Other attacks during the past three months have followed a similar pattern, with a man of Mexican descent walking alone assaulted by at least two others, mostly young men ages 14 through 20. They are usually robbed of cash, somewhere around $200, beaten and insulted with phrases like “Go back where you came from,” police said.
All the victims were expected to recover. Police have arrested eight people in three separate incidents on charges of assault as a hate crime. The other seven cases are open.
The Consulate of Mexico said it was posting personnel in the borough until further notice to safeguard Mexicans’ rights.
Paul Browne, the NYPD’s top spokesman, said “scores” of officers would be on patrol starting Tuesday night, as well as additional cameras and cars until further notice. A small command post would be set up in the Port Richmond neighborhood, where most of the attacks have been occurring.
Browne said it’s important victims understand the NYPD is not an immigration arm and they should feel comfortable reporting crimes regardless of their status.