NEW YORK (CBS 2 / 1010 WINS / WCBS 880 / AP) — Prosecutors on Staten Island say they’re dropping hate crime charges against a 17-year-old accused of attacking a Hispanic teen.
On July 31, Christian Vazquez told police he was beaten by a group of men who were yelling anti-Mexican slurs at him.
Extra officers had been policing the area because of a series of earlier anti-Hispanic attacks. Vazquez was reported to be the eleventh victim since April.
But prosecutors announced Tuesday that new information had come to light. They alleged that an altercation began as Vazquez bought marijuana from a group of people. They said he was unable to identify the teen who had been accused of the bias crime.
Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan said the charges against Derrian Williams have been dropped.
“Because of his non-disclosure and his misleading of the police department and the community of Staten Island we are unable to proceed,” Donovan said.
The dismissal must be approved by a judge.
Authorities believe the robbery and assault did take place but Donovan said since Vazquez’ credibility has been compromised they can’t go forward with any charges.
Donovan said the other incidents are still classified as suspected hate crimes.