A 23-year-old Hispanic man reported to police Sunday night that he was beaten by four white men in their 20s, who jumped out of their car and attacked him, yelling anti-Hispanic slurs, when he was walking on Atlantic Avenue in Hampton Bays around 8:40 p.m.
Southampton Town Police, the Suffolk County Police Hate Crimes Unit and the Suffolk County district attorney are investigating the incident as a hate crime, and are asking anyone who has information to call Southampton Town Police detectives at 631.702.2230 or Suffolk County Crime Stoppers at 1.800.222.8477. All calls will be kept confidential.
Police said the victim was treated at a hospital and released, after being struck and kicked in the face by the assailants.
Organización Latino-Americana of Eastern Long Island was contacted by a family member of the victim on Monday June 19, after which they quickly met with Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman and Police Chief Steven Skrynecki.
“We remain concerned for the continued safety of the family who has been targeted by these violent individuals,” said OLA in a statement Monday evening. “While OLA is horrified that a crime of this nature would happen, we are not surprised that such acts of violence could occur as immigrants have been further vilified and scapegoated by those with an interest in creating fear and division. Our community must not cave to further violence.”
“Supervisor Schneiderman took a meeting with OLA within minutes of being contacted, while Chief Skrynecki was also quick to inform that this case was already being investigated as a Hate Crime,” they added. “We are heartened by the response of Southampton Town’s Police Department to act quickly and without reservation in this hate crime investigation.”
“Further, OLA stresses the importance of continued dialogue and transparency regarding the fears that immigrants in our community have to accessing protections regardless of immigration status. Active efforts such as these, along with follow up discussions and commitments, are needed to ensure that all among us are safe and equally inclined to seek protections as victims and witnesses to crime.”