Nolis Ogando of Seneca Avenue in Ridgewood and Jonathan Echevarria of Greene Avenue in Brooklyn, both 22, admitted to being involved in the March 12, 2011, beating of Anthony Collao, 18, along 90th Street between 88th and 89th avenues. Six individuals, in all, were involved in the attack, which detectives determined to be a hate crime because the assailants thought the victim was gay.
Collao died two days later from the injuries he sustained in the assault.
“This was a horribly brutal and unprovoked attack,” Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 14. “The victim had just left a birthday celebration and was chased down as the defendants yelled anti-gay slurs.”
According to the charges, Collao left the house party in the vicinity of 90th Street between 88th and 89th avenues — which was hosted by two openly gay men — just before 12:50 a.m. on March 12, 2011, when Ogando, Echevarria and four other individuals — Alex Velez of Queens, Calvin Pietri of Woodhaven, Luis Tabales of Richmond Hill and Christopher Lozada of Woodhaven — shouted derogatory remarks at Collao, then chased him down the street. Three of the suspects were said to be carrying weapons including a stick, a pipe and a cane.
The group caught up to Collao, threw him to the ground and assaulted him about the body with their fists and weapons, which included a piece of lattice fencing. They then removed his property, including his sneakers and an Atlanta Braves baseball cap, and fled the scene.
Police located five of the attackers in the area of Woodhaven Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue about 15 minutes after the attack. The officers recovered from them a piece of fencing and a metal pipe, which had blood on it. A sixth suspect was arrested three months later as a result of an ongoing investigation.
Ogando pleaded guilty to first-degree gang assault on Sept. 8 of this year and is expected to receive eight years behind bars and five years’ probation when he is sentenced on Sept. 22. Echevarria, meanwhile, pleaded guilty on Sept. 14 to first-degree manslaughter and is expected to receive 18 years in prison and five years’ probation when he is sentenced on Sept. 28.
Velez, Pietri, Tabales and Lozada previously pleaded guilty to various charges including first-degree manslaughter and gang assault and are currently serving prison sentences.