Saturday, March 26, 2011
Vigil for New York teen killed in anti-gay attack
A vigil has been held for a New York teenager who was allegedly killed in a homophobic attack.
Anthony Collao, 18, was attacked at a party last Saturday by a gang who allegedly shouted anti-gay slurs before kicking, punching and beating him with a metal pipe.
The college graduate, who is understood to have had a girlfriend, died in hospital last Monday.
A vigil for Mr Collao was held on 90th Street inWoodhaven on Thursday night.
Mourners held candles while the teenager’s 14-year-old sister Karen remembered her brother.
“It just broke my heart completely because losing your older brother, blood running through, it just hurt. It’s a pain you can’t imagine,” she said, according to NBC News.
“If he was gay or if he wasn’t why does it matter to you? Let him be,” she added.
Other speakers included City Council speaker Christine Quinn and Diego Sucuzhanay, whose brother Jose died in an anti-gay attack in the city in 2008.
Five youths – one of whom is a juvenile – have been arrested and charged with manslaughter as a hate crime.
Mr Collao was at a warehouse party in Queens thrown by a pair of gay men when a gang allegedly burst in and began verbally abusing guests.
Witnesses said he was attacked when he tried to leave with a friend.