ADL Welcomes Arrests In Staten Island Baseball Bat Assault
New York, NY, July 17, 2009 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed the arrests of two men suspected in the violent baseball bat beating of a Hispanic immigrant on Staten Island, and praised law enforcement for their decisive action in the case.
Kenneth Jacobson, Acting Director of ADL's New York Regional Office, issued the following statement:
The brutal beating of Luis Maltez is a sad reminder of the lengths people will go to express hate. That this attack may have been motivated by racism and baseless hatred lends an added element of tragedy. Hate crimes affect not only the victim, but reverberate throughout a community.
We commend the New York City Police Department and its Hate Crimes Task Force for their determination in pursuing justice in this case. Our community will not stand for such brutal and senseless violence, and we hope those responsible are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
The alleged incident began inside a convenience store, where a white man yelled racial slurs at a Hispanic man, before returning with two friends and launching a physical attack with baseball bats on a nearby street. The victim, Luis Maltez, 38 and originally from Nicaragua, suffered serious head and bodily injuries.
Joseph Sweeney, 23, has been charged with second-degree assault as a hate crime, second-degree assault, and criminal possession of a weapon in the attack. Albijond Kaja, 28, also faces a series of robbery, assault and hate crime charges.
The League has long been at the forefront of national and state efforts to deter and counteract hate crimes.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.