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Attacker sentenced to 10 years in prison for brutal anti-gay assault at Brooklyn bodega

Photo: Public Domain

A reputed member of the Bloods gang was sentenced to 10 years in prison Wednesday for a brutal attack on two men at a Brooklyn bodega in 2021.

Christopher Clemente, 38, was sentenced by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun in connection with the assault, which left the two men with stab wounds and collapsed lungs. The attack was classified as a hate crime.

In the early hours of September 4, 2021, Abimbola Adelaja, 36, who identifies as gay, and a 29 year-old companion were waiting for a food order at the bodega in Bushwick when three men approached them and started making homophobic comments, calling Adelaja a “faggot” and shouting, “It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!”

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The assailants then pulled out a glass bottle and a screwdriver and threatened the victims, demanding valuables.

Clemente started punching Adelaja in the face, while an accomplice, Jonathan Carter, 33, struck him with the bottle and knocked him to the floor, prosecutors said.

Clemente repeatedly stabbed Adelaja in the head and body with the screwdriver, before he and a third assailant, who remains at large, turned to the 29-year-old.

According to testimony, Clemente grabbed the younger victim, continuing to yell homophobic slurs as he punched and stabbed him. The victim suffered multiple stab wounds and two punctured lungs in the assault. He remained hospitalized for 13 days.

Adelaja suffered multiple stab wounds to the face, chest and buttocks, and a collapsed lung. Both men were robbed of their phones, wallets, keys and cash.

“We’re not with that gay shit!” the attackers screamed, according to law enforcement sources.

Soon after the assault and robbery, police released surveillance photos of the attackers, and Clemente turned himself in. According to cops, the reputed gang member has nine unsealed prior arrests dating back to 2005, including for assault and burglary.

Clemente has been held on $150,000 bail since his arraignment. He pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted murder as a hate crime on January 25.

The second alleged attacker, Jonathan Carter, is free on a $10,000 bond and scheduled for a court appearance in March. A third assailant is still at large.  

After the attack, Adelaja said he ran into a storeroom at the bodega and hid, while workers kicked everyone out. When he left the room and asked to use a phone to call 911, employees told him to leave.

“If someone is in need, you help,” Adelaja said at the time. “I wasn’t expecting them to get involved or jump in, but certainly, you know, getting the phone or calling the cops for me or making sure I was OK are all things that could have been done.”

Days later, Adelaja organized a protest of the bodega to hold the business accountable.

“We won’t let something like this make us scared. We won’t live in fear,” he told NBC News. “We’re here, we’re proud people, so we want to hold space to let the community know we’re here, and we’re going to stand up for ourselves.”

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