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Bias attack victim’s dad speaks at NAACP meet

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The father of a Bayside man who was beaten and robbed in a February bias attack on Bell Boulevard spoke out at a Flushing NAACP meeting last week, voicing frustration at the justice system that allowed his son’s alleged attackers to go free on $5,000 bail.

“I was very disturbed about that,” said Saintidor St. Louis, of the bail set for two Whitestone brothers who are charged with attacking his son after an argument at the Byzantio bar and grill on Feb. 23.

“I carried my son to the car and brought him to the DA’s office on Queens Boulevard to show them the condition he was in,” St. Louis said last Thursday. “He was really left to die on that sidewalk.”

Police said St. Louis’ son George was the only black man at the café when Angelo and Giuseppe Gigliotti of Whitestone supposedly began an argument with him inside the eatery. When George St. Louis left to go buy cigarettes a little while later, police said he was attacked by three to four white men.

At the time of the attack the Queens district attorney’s office said the brothers were arraigned in criminal court and released on $5,000 bail. Mary de Bourbon said the DA’s office had requested $50,000 bail for each of the suspects.

Saintidor St. Louis spoke out at a meeting of the Flushing branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People at the Macedonia A.M.E. Church on Union Street in Flushing. Chapter President Ken Cohen said the meeting was held to focus on a rash of bias attacks in the Bayside area over the last year.

Some 30 people attended the meeting, including Bayside civic leaders Mandingo Tshaka of the Bayside Clear-Springs Council and Jerry Iannece, a city council candidate and head of the Bayside Hills Civic Association.

“What we’re here to do tonight is talk about these types of incidents,” said Cohen.

Saintidor St. Louis also said he thought the Byzantio should have borne some responsibility for the incident because it occurred just outside the bar and grill.

A month after the incident outside Byzantio at 45-30 Bell Blvd., an attack with racial overtones at the Voodoo Lounge at 47-29 Bell Blvd. sparked community concern. In the incident at the Voodoo Lounge, a Hispanic man was believed to have been taunted with racial remarks by several white men until he allegedly lashed out and stabbed them, police said.

The Hispanic man was arrested and charged in the stabbings the night of the incident, and several weeks later one of them white men was arrested for allegedly making the bias remarks that sparked the attack, police said.

Cohen said after the Voodoo Lounge attack his group, which covers northeast Queens, reached out to northeast Queens elected officials about the bias incidents but only received a response from state Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin (D-Flushing). Cohen also expressed dismay that only two politicians — state Assemblyman Mark Weprin (D-Bayside) and state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) — sent representatives to a March 29 meeting of Bayside civics on the bias incidents.

“I don’t believe anyone has reached out to Mr. St. Louis about what happened to his son,” Cohen said.

Citing two separate bias attacks late last year, Cohen said “these types of incidents go on repeatedly. We hope to come up with a plan to create a better atmosphere and climate in northeast Queens.”

“People must recognize all people of color,” he said.

Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.

Posted 7:05 pm, October 10, 2011
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