By Connor Adams Sheets
A second man has pleaded guilty to a hate crime in the case of the vicious beating and robbery of an openly gay man on the streets of College Point.
Daniel Rodriguez, 22, of 502 115th St. in College Point, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of first-degree robbery as a hate crime for the Oct. 8, 2009, robbery of Jack Price, 50, after he exited a neighborhood deli, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
“Today’s guilty plea ensures that the victim of a crime motivated by hate will receive justice,” Brown said. “The defendant is expected to be sentenced to a term of imprisonment that will serve as both a punishment for his actions and a deterrent to those who would commit hate crimes, whether they be motivated by gender, religion, sexual orientation or ethnicity.”
In exchange for the plea, Queens Supreme Court Justice Barry Kron promised Rodriguez a sentence of between eight and 12 years in prison and post-release supervision.
Rodriguez’s co-defendant, Daniel Aleman, 27, of 18-04 College Point Blvd. in College Point, pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery as a hate crime Nov. 23. He is expected to be sentenced to eight years in prison and five years’ post-release supervision Dec. 13. Rodriguez is slated to be sentenced Jan. 21.
On Oct. 8, 2009, at about 4:30 a.m., Rodriguez and Aleman shouted anti-gay slurs at openly gay Jack Price after he left a deli in College Point, according to the DA. The men began to punch, stomp and kick him, then stole his personal property — including a wallet and cash, the DA said.
Price was taken to the hospital, where he was admitted with a broken jaw, several broken ribs, two collapsed lungs and a lacerated spleen and remained for approximately three weeks.
The brutal College Point attack contributed to a furor over hate crimes in New York City bolstered by other vicious incidents in the Bronx and Staten Island that led to Gov. David Paterson’s signing of a bill in July that allows judges to order that any criminal convicted of committing a hate crime undergo training or counseling.
Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4538.