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NYPD Expands Possible S.I. Bias Crime Investigation

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NEW YORK (CBS 2) – Police on Staten Island were expanding their investigation into possible bias attacks against the Latino community.

Detectives were looking for two men, wanted for attacking a 50-year-old Hispanic man on July 7.

There have been ten reported attacks against Latino immigrants on the Island since April.

The Hispanic community said the assaults were hate crimes, but Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro said he believed the cases were really robberies.

“It’s easy just to holler ‘bias’. It’s easy. That’s the easiest thing to do. But you have to prove it. You have to prove it,” Molinaro said.

“The criminals have targeted people they deem vulnerable, and it happens to be the Mexican community,” Debi Rose said.

Police sources tell CBS 2 that investigators believe only one of the first six attacks may be a true bias incident.

Officials said one was a hate crime against gays, and the others were robberies against Mexicans who appeared to be easy targets.

(© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)