A fifth suspect was arrested Tuesday night in the deadly beating of a Long Island teen in Woodhaven, police said.
Calvin Peitri, 17, of 91-10 77th St. in Woodhaven, was charged with manslaughter and gang assault as a hate crime stemming from an incident that occurred outside of a Woodhaven party, police said.
According to a criminal complaint from the Queens district attorney’s office, Peitri and four other suspects chased down 18-year-old Anthony Collao and beat him so badly he died days later at Jamaica Hospital as a result of the injuries.
Police said that the group — which included Nolis Ogando and Christopher Lozada of Ridgewood and Luis Tabales and Alex Velex of Richmond Hill — yelled anti-gay slurs at some point in the evening before they chased Collao down and punched, kicked and beat him with what one witnessed described as a stick, according to the complaint.
The five suspects allegedly crashed a birthday party at 88-17 90th St. and forced their way in, police said.
Some residents of the quiet Woodhaven street said that gangs hang out in nearby Forest Park and sometimes deal drugs in the neighborhood.
“In the last five-and-a-half years it has gotten worse,” said a resident named Robert, who did not want to give his last name. “I have kids to worry about. Some are grown but my last one is only 2 years old.”
Another resident said she was shocked by the violence. While Samantha Lucena acknowledged that young people hang out in the park, she said it did not appear they were doing anything illegal.
“Young kids hang around in the park, but not gangs,” she said. “The kids are hanging out with friends. I wouldn’t think that they would do something like this.”
Friends of Collao set up a small memorial on the corner of 90th Street and 88th Avenue in the days following the incident.
“He wasn’t a bad kid,” said Jessica Demino, who had planned to meet Collao on the night of the attack and stood in tears in front of the memorial. “He was an awesome kid who always had a smile on his face. He cared about family and friends.”
Collao is from Long Island, but his girlfriend lives in Woodhaven, which is why he was at a party so far from home, according to Demino.
Each of the suspects was charged with gang assault in the first degree, according to the DA.
Police could not confirm reports that Pietri bragged about the assault on the social networking site Facebook, which led to his arrest.
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.
©2011 Community News Group
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