Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cops: Vandalism at gay center not hate crime; 2 defendants are former members seeking revenge

Cops: Vandalism at gay center not hate crime --
In announcing the arrests of four people on charges of vandalism at a Bay Shore gay and lesbian youth center, police Tuesday said it was an act of revenge and not a hate crime.

"We were calling it a hate crime investigation because of public perception," said Det. Sgt. Robert Reecks, commanding officer of the Suffolk police hate crimes unit, which pursued the case because of the center's mission.

Four Bay Shore residents - two of whom attended programs at the center - were arrested in connection with the incident. On Feb. 2, staffers of the Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth Center reported they found the building's front door smashed, windows broken and the agency van's tires slashed.

Milagro Ruiz, 21, and Gilbert Geigel Jr., 20, of Fifth Avenue; and Kerrond Miller-Jones, 19, and Charles Diaz, 21, of Perkel Street, were arraigned on second-degree criminal mischief in First District Court in Central Islip yesterday. An order of protection also was issued for the center's chief executive, David Kilmnick....

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