Five Brooklyn teenagers accused of running onto the field and firing guns, throwing beer bottles and swinging baseball bats during a baseball game at Grover Cleveland High School in Ridgewood have been indicted on charges of attempted murder and other counts, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Anthony Concepcion, 16, Ricky Ramirez, 16, Julio Ramos, 16, Pedro Rodriguez, 15, and Miguel Torres, 17, allegedly rushed the field around 5 p.m. during a May 1 game and attacked players on the Grover Cleveland team, the DA said. The incident was sparked by a dispute between Rodriguez and Ricardo Perez, a member of the Grover Cleveland team, earlier in the day, police said.
If convicted, Concepcion, Ramirez, Ramos and Torres could face up to 25 years in prison while Rodriguez, who allegedly fired some of the gunshots, will be charged as an adult despite his status as a minor, Brown said. If found guilty, the most time he could face in prison would be 10 years because of his age.
"The defendants' conduct placed players, coaches and spectators alike at grave risk of serious physical injury or death and they must be held accountable for what was a mindless and potentially lethal threat to public safety," Brown said in a statement.
The five youths converged on the field with a crowd of 10 to 15 other teenagers and ran past the visiting team from Stuyvesant High School before attacking the Grover Cleveland players, Brown said.
"I turned and saw a gang of about 15 to 20 kids walking right onto the field. One kid ran past me and had a silver pistol. Then they grabbed Grover Cleveland's bats and started chasing them with their own bats," Stuyvesant coach David Velkas said.
In addition to attempted murder, the defendants have been charged with criminal possession of a weapon, reckless endangerment and assault, Brown said.
Police arrested Concepcion, Ramos, Rodriguez and Torres near the crime scene about an hour after the incident and Ramirez was arrested at his home several hours later, Brown said.
Witnesses to the event heard the defendants yell "Cap the guys in white" in reference to the white uniforms the Grover Cleveland team wore during the game. At least one of the defendants is believed to be part of a gang called the Latin Kings, but law enforcement sources said the attack was not gang-related.
No one was injured during the incident, but a member of the Cleveland team cut his leg on a fence while fleeing the field.
"They basically ran for their lives," Velkas said.
Reach Reporter Dan Trudeau by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 173
©2003 Community News Group
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