Josie Smith-Malave will sleep more soundly tonight. Nassau County police have made one arrest in connection with the former Top Chefer’s gay bashing and robbery. A 20-year old Oregonian named Matthew W. Walli turned himself in for stealing Smith-Malave’s camera during the Labor Day attack. Lt. Kevin Smith says:
Basically, we had a name that we circulated around the Sea Cliff area, and I guess [Walli] put one and one together and decided we were looking for him. He voluntarily came in, and based on things that he said he was arrested.
Though usually classified as a Class C felony, the robbery may be changed to a Class B if investigators find Walli’s actions were hate-motivated, The Advocate‘s Kerry Eleveld reports.
Smith-Malave’s attorney, Yetta Kurland expressed relief over the news:
I’m glad to see that the Nassau County Police Department and the District Attorney are moving forward on this matter swiftly. It’s the first of what I hope to be many arrests.
About eleven other people are wanted in connection to the crime.