Ten days after he allegedly slashed a man across the cheek for being Latino and gay, Ramon Castro was charged with a hate crime.
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced July 16 that the 55-year-old defendant from the Bronx could spend the next 15 years in prison if convicted on several assault charges.
“I will not tolerate those who target others because of their ethnicity or who they love. We are better than that. Queens prides itself on being part of a City that holds accountable those who think they can divide us. Not here,” Katz said in a statement.
According to the NYPD, Castro engaged in a verbal argument with a 34-year-old man in front of the 77th Street and Roosevelt Avenue subway station in Flushing just past 3 a.m. on July 6.
Castro allegedly yelled, “I hate Latinos and f----t people,” before striking the victim’s face with a sharp, unknown object, leaving a laceration on his left cheek. Castro fled on foot towards the 7 train at 82nd Street and Roosevelt Avenue.
The victim was taken to NYC Health & Hospitals/Elmhurst in stable condition, where he received eight stitches on the outside of his cheek and eight stitches on the inside.
Castro was arrested at 9:30 p.m. July 14 on the northwest corner of Roosevelt Avenue and 76th Street, less than 500 feet where the crime took place.
Police reportedly found two glassine envelopes containing cocaine and one crack pipe in his left front pocket. Castro admitted to smoking methamphetamine, the complaint alleges.
While he was in custody at the 110th Precinct, Castro admitted to the crime, according to the criminal complaint.
“Yes that is me in the pictures,” Castro allegedly said when he was shown surveillance footage captured following the violent attack.
According to complaint, Castro also confirmed that he had used a wooden stake to injure his victim.
“The defendant stated, in sum and substance, homosexuals are okay but not when you’re an adult,” the criminal compliant read.
Castro was charged with two counts of second-degree assault as a hate crime, second-degree menacing as a hate crime and second-degree aggravated harassment.