Three charged for seeking out blacks to beat after Obama victory
Hit man with car, beat another with pipeThree young men from Staten Island, who allegedly spent Election Night looking for African-Americans to beat up after they became outraged by Barack Obama's victory, are now under federal indictment.
One victim of the group, 17 year old Liberian immigrant Alie Kamara, was beaten with a metal pipe and a police baton and still suffers from headaches and walks with a limp. Kamara's mother told ABC News, "My son didn't deserve what happened to him. ... He had to jump over a fence for his life."
The alleged ringleader, eighteen year old Ralph Nicoletti, is accused of the most heinous crime, deliberately running down a man whom he believed to be African-American as he drove with his friends through a predominantly black neighborhood.
Ronald Forte, who is actually white, was in a coma for 45 days. In a statement to the court, his mother said, "I have to take care of him for the rest of his life now. I had to leave my job to take care of my 38-year-old son because of this senseless act."
Nicoletti is considered the leader of the "Rosebank Krew" or "RBK," which is known for fire-bombing neighborhood homes and cars. He himself has an extensive history of arrests going back to the age of 14.
Nicoletti is being held without bond as a menace to society, while his two co-defendants have been released on bail. All three men are charged with conspiring to "injure, oppress, threaten and intimidate African American citizens of Staten Island." A fourth member of the group has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and is cooperating with federal authorities.
Although Staten Island is a part of New York City, it has always been relatively isolated and had few black residents until the 1960's. Immigrants have reported experiencing harassment there, and in 2003, a rash of racial slurs and threats climaxed in a Labor Day attack.
The Staten Island Advance has more details here.
This video is from ABCNews.com, broadcast Jan. 8, 2009.
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