Little Neck teen pleads guilty to beating rivals with bats

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Three youths were seriously injured in the incident.

The ringleader in the attack, Alexander Nunez, 15, who pleaded guilty to intentional assault, faces 4 1/2 years in juvenile detention, the district attorney said. The other teen, Francisco Romero-Mellon, 19, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and will be sentenced to one year in jail, according to Brown.

"The 15-year-old defendant has admitted his guilt, waived his right to an appeal and acknowledged that he attacked the victims with a bat and intended to cause serious physical injury to them." Brown said in a statement. "The evidence pointed to him as the principal in the crime."

Both entered their guilty pleas before Queens Supreme Court Justice Dorothy Chin-Brandt, who will sentence them July 1, the district attorney said.

Three other young men arrested in connection with the assault - Kevin Donaghy, 20, of Little Neck; David Raneri, 19, of Glen Oaks; and Joseph McMahon, 18, of Douglaston - were adjudicated in Queens Criminal Court Friday, where their charges were dismissed pending six months' good behavior, the district attorney said.

The five young men were charged Oct. 4 after a fight between two gangs in the park opposite 50-36 248th St., police said.

The defendants were among a group of 15 to 25 assailants that jumped a smaller group of young men at 12:40 a.m., possibly over selling marijuana near the park, police said. They said the fight was sparked by a previous confrontation between the two groups.

Residents in the upscale neighborhood said at the time the assault followed a loud argument on the street between large groups of young people.

After the brawl, a bloody bat split in two was recovered from the scene and three teens were hospitalized, two of them with critical head wounds.

Gianfranco Scollo, 18, of Ridgewood had to undergo brain surgery. His brother, Maurizio, 16, suffered a displaced skull fracture. Diego Vallejo, 16, of Brooklyn, was treated for soft tissue damage and other head injuries. The district attorney said all three had since recovered.

While cops said the fight was over marijuana, none of the victims or assailants had drug-related charges brought against them. One of the victims said the dispute had nothing to do with either gangs or drugs.

Reach reporter Matthew Monks by e-mail at or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

Posted 7:06 pm, October 10, 2011
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