Prosecutors in New Jersey have charged an 18-year-old man with attempted homicide, robbery, battery, and a hate crime in connection with a violent attack on a Maryland man earlier this year.
New Jersey Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck announced charges against 18-year-old José Tobias Carranza Serrano, AKA Kevin Lopez, in an attack on man in a Baltimore park on June 21. Law enforcement officials allege that Serrano “wanted to kill the victim because he suspected the victim was gay.”
Upon spotting the victim in the park on the evening of June 21, Serrano began punching and kicking him in the face. The attack left the victim with several broken bones and missing several teeth. Serrano then attempted to choke the victim to death before taking a phone and $8 from him. A passer-by discovered the victim unconscious in the park the next morning.
The New York Daily News reports that the victim, a 37-year-old man, underwent extensive treatment for his injuries at a nearby hospital. His identity has not been made public to protect his privacy.
“We will not tolerate violence targeting the LGBTQ+ community,” Attorney General Bruck declared in a statement. “There is simply no excuse for this type of hate, and we will ensure that those who engage in violence are held fully accountable for their actions.”
If convicted, Serrano could face up to 60 years in prison.
The attack on the Maryland man is just the latest in a number of violent attacks against gay men worldwide. In Spain this year, the murder of a gay nursing student prompted national protests. Just a few months later, another gay man required a wired jaw following a violent assault. In the United States, an attacker stabbed a New York man in the chest while yelling anti-gay slurs. Also in New York, a gay doctor suffered a smashed jaw after enduring an attack in a subway station. In Atlanta, a gay man continues to recover after attackers beat him and left him for dead on a set of railroad tracks.