Looks Like a Hate Crime, Feels Like a Hate Crime, But Suffolk County Police Say…

44981337It’s not a hate crime! Monday, police arrested Milagro Ruiz, 21, and Gilbert R. Geigel, 20, and Kerrond Miller-Jones, 19, and Charles Diaz, 21, in connection with the vandalism of a youth van used by (and heavily-branded as coming from) The Long Island Gay and Lesbian Center, but authorities are saying that the crime was not motivated by bias, thought they haven’t come forward with how they know that just yet.

Newsday‘s John Valenti reports:

“Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy called the vandalism at a Bay Shore gay and lesbian center for youths an “attack against the gay community.”

It turns out the vandalism at the Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth Center was not a hate crime after all, police said Tuesday.

Police arrested three men and a woman, all from Bay Shore, Monday in connection with the vandalism and charged each of them with second-degree criminal mischief. None of the four was charged with a hate crime.

Police declined to say what led them to determine the crime was not bias-related.

The vandalism took place about a week ago at the center, at 34 Park Ave. Police said that they were called to the center on Monday, Feb. 2, after it was discovered that the front door to the center had been damaged — and tires had been slashed and windows were broken on the center’s 2003 Ford van.

That van had been parked on the property, police said.

“This type of attack against the gay community will not be tolerated in Suffolk County,” Levy said in the aftermath.”