NEW YORK — Five New York area teens have been arrested in the fatal beating of Anthony Collao at a party hosted by two gay men last weekend.
Collao, 18, was beaten to death by the teens who allegedly yelled anti-gay slurs during the attack.
“Though the victim was not a member of the LGBT community, several members of the party were, and they were targeted solely for that reason,” said New York State Assembly member Mike Miller.
They came uninvited to the Woodhaven party – advertised on Facebook – and refused to pay a $7 cover charge. They stormed the home, busting windows and picking fights, witnesses said.
The crashers flashed gang signs, yelled anti-gay slurs and scrawled epithets in red marker on the walls, the two party hosts said.
“They called us homos and all kinds of stuff,” said one of the men, who was celebrating his 20th birthday.
Sensing trouble, Collao left with a friend and was chased, sources said. The gang caught up to him, pinned him against a car and “beat him to within an inch of his life,” a source said.
Police recovered a metal pipe smeared with blood near the scene.
Collao, 18, died on Monday after being taken off life support.
The suspects face charges of gang assault in the first degree, manslaughter in the first degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. They are: Alex Velez, 16, from the Bronx, Nolis Ogando, Christopher Lozada, Luis Tabales, and Calvin Pietri, all age 17, and from Queens.
The murder was being investigated as a hate crime — officials sales the teens may face upgraded charges of manslaughter as a hate crime.