A grand jury has indicted a Baltimore teen on bias attempted murder charges for savagely beating a learning-disabled man in a Hudson County park because he thought he was gay.
José Tobias Carranza Serrano, 18, was captured by police in Bayonne who found him and his clothes covered in blood while arresting him on a trespassing charge hours after the June 21 attack in James J. Braddock Park in North Bergen, authorities said.
The indictment returned Wednesday charges Carranza Serrano with attempted murder, bias intimidation, aggravated assault and robbery.
The 37-year-old victim from West New York had apparently gone for his usual walk in the popular park the night of June 21, according to the indictment.
Carranza Serrano – also known as Kenny Lopez – approached him near the south end of the park’s lake shortly after 11 p.m., lured him to a wooded area and attacked him, it says.
He punched and kicked the victim in the face, causing multiple fractures and knocking out several teeth, then tried to strangle him before fleeing with the victim’s cellphone and $8 in cash, the indictment says.
A jogger found the unconscious victim around 5 a.m. the next day.
He was hospitalized with severe injuries, including kidney and liver damage and several broken bones in his face.
Doctors at Hackensack University Medical Center "had no choice but to intubate the victim," an affidavit filed by the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office says.
Following his arrest, Carranza Serrano admitted that he lured the victim into a wooded area in an effort to kill him because he "does not like homosexuals," the affidavit says.
He has remained held Wednesday in the Hudson County Correctional Facility in Kearny since then.
“There is simply no excuse for this type of hate,” Bruck said, adding that authorities will “ensure that those who engage in violence are held fully accountable for their actions.”
Bruck cited the work of Detectives Samer Abboud and Brian Christensen of the state Division of Criminal Justice Bias Crimes Unit and thanked the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office and the North Bergen, Hoboken, and Bayonne police departments for their work on the case.
Deputy Attorney General Danielle Scarduzio presented the case to the grand jury and secured the indictment, he said.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.