Skip to comments.Man convicted of assault as hate crime in Howard Beach baseball bat attack
Posted on 06/10/2006 3:41:38 PM PDT by Graybeard58
NEW YORK -- A white man accused of pummeling a black man over the head with a baseball bat was convicted of second-degree assault as a hate crime Friday after a three-week trial that focused on the defendant's use of "the n-word" during the beating.
A jury deliberated for eight hours over two days before finding 20-year-old Nicholas Minucci guilty in the assault of Glenn Moore last June in the predominantly white Queens neighborhood of Howard Beach -- the site of another notorious attack that inflamed racial tensions in New York 20 years ago.
Minucci looked pale as the verdict was read. As he was handcuffed and led out of court, he turned and looked at family members sitting in the courtroom.
Minucci also was convicted of first- and second-degree robbery as a hate crime for stealing Moore's sneakers and other items in the attack. He faces up to 25 years in prison on the top count, when he is sentenced on July 15.
"By its verdict the jury has sent a loud and clear message that crime predicated upon hate can never be tolerated," Queens district attorney Richard Brown said Friday. "Today's verdict represents the outrage of the residents of this county over crimes motivated by bigotry and hatred."
Prosecutors charged that Minucci, then a 240-pounder with the nickname "Fat Nick," hurled the "n-word" during the attack and shouted, "We'll show you not to come and rob white boys."
Moore, who suffered a fractured skull, admitted that he and two friends were in the neighborhood trying to steal a car but said they hadn't taken anything when they encountered Minucci and his friends.
Moore, 23, sat stoically in the second row of the courtroom with a court officer and his mother as the verdict was read.
The defense argued that Minucci used reasonable force against someone attempting to commit a crime and said he was "a scapegoat because he's a dope."
"He suffered because Howard Beach is synonymous with racism. That is not what happened here," defense attorney Albert Gaudelli said outside court.
Gaudelli said that his client has been jailed for the past year. "He has been treated like a hardened serial rapist or a mad-dog murderer," he said.
At trial, Moore testified that his attackers took off his sneakers and had him on his knees when Minucci swung an aluminum bat at his head like he was trying to hit a pitch. "Ding! Right above my right ear," he said.
Another witness, Frankie Agostini, accused of being an accomplice in the beating, testified that the clang of the bat against Moore's head "sounded like Barry Bonds hit a home run."
Minucci's attorney contended that his client struck Moore in the legs, but that Moore fractured his skull by tripping and hitting his head on the ground.
The encounter drew comparisons to the 1986 death of Michael Griffith, a black man struck by a car while trying to escape a group of white attackers in the same neighborhood. In that case, Griffith's car had broken down.
Gaudelli argued that the epithet Minucci is accused of using is so commonly used today among hip-hop fans of all races that it no longer has a predominantly racist connotation.
The defense also tried to prevent jurors from hearing that Minucci was convicted of interrupting a religious service and menacing for shooting a paint ball at a Sikh going into a temple on Sept. 11, 2001.
That case was sealed because Minucci was classified as a youthful offender. But State Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter allowed the prosecution to bring up the incident after the defense put one of Minucci's friends on the stand to testify that he is not a racist.
The jury also found Minucci guilty of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon -- the baseball bat -- and two counts of fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property -- the sneakers and another pair of shoes.
Agostini was not charged in the attack on Moore. Another alleged accomplice, Anthony Ench, pleaded guilty in October to charges of second-degree attempted robbery and second-degree attempted assault as a hate crime.
Isn't one man pummeling another with a baseball bat a crime otherwise?
This whole "hate crime" thing leaves me cold...
Punish the crime, and don't worry about trying to guess what was going through his puny reptilian brain...
No. It's a 'hate crime' because he said the same word rappers use ad nauseam in their "music"
so, I suppose it would have been a lesser crime had he kept his mouth shut or perhaps quoted some Shakespeare while he bludgeoned the poor fellow.
I'll be impressed when I hear of a minority prosecuted for a hate crime.
Not in New York. Andrea Peyser's been following this case, and another case where a bunch of black guys killed a Caucasian after announcing to the world [or at least some neutral witnesses], "Let's get the white guy", or words to that effect. No hate crime.
Gee and violence with things such as, "You gonna die now cracker" or "give me you M. F. car whitey" doesn't count as a hate crime.
In New York, except for hate crimes, you never have to prove motive, merely mens rea [was it intentional, depraved indifference, reckless, or negligent]. "Hate crimes" are the only crimes where motive enhances the sentence.
I guess if he used the "f word" he would have gotten a lighter sentence.
Hate crimes are speech crimes and thought crimes, great for North Korea and Cuba, but thoroughly un-American.
All crimes are hate crimes.
Interesting. It seems when a white man gets the tar beaten out of him by a black man, the prosecutors always go out of their way to say "robbery was the motive". I certainly don't condone what this white man did, but he is the victim of a political prosecution.
That said, use of the N-word does not a hate crime make, since use of "whitey" or "honky" doesn't make it a hate crime when the shoe's on the other foot.
If someone is being prosecuted for a hate crime,they are being punished for what they say,think, feel or believe!In other words if you don't conform to what society dictates your beliefs and thoughts to be,you will be persecuted and prosecuted.Sounds like nazi Germany to me.
So does this mean that crime the isn't predicated on "hate" CAN be tolerated?
To hell with a gay marriage amendment. How about an amemdment abolishing so called "hate crimes" and reaffirming that a crime, is a crime, is a crime, regardless if the offender says some naughty words during the act.
"Hate crimes are speech crimes and thought crimes, great for North Korea and Cuba, but thoroughly un-American."
Just like the liberal swine that saw to it that they were passed into law.
First of all, this kid is involved in two major assaults and he doesn't kill anybody. Come on, if he really had all this hate he should be able to murder somebody. And the guy himself admitted he was just rying to break the guy's legs and not his head. And his friend said it sounded like Barry Bonds (a black man) hitting a home run- if he had said Mark McGwyer that would be racist. And his victims are totally different. One is black and the other is a Sihk- I mean, does this guy hate everybody? I may not agree with his methods, but come on, just being arrested and tried for two major crimes should be enough to scare anyone straight.
...who was only there to...
"...Moore, who suffered a fractured skull, admitted that he and two friends were in the neighborhood trying to steal a car ..."
"..."Fat Nick," hurled the "n-word" during the attack and shouted, "We'll show you not to come and rob white boys."..."
What a hater.
hate crime= thought crime=thought police
Glenn Moore and company were robbing cars and were caught.