A 19-year-old man was charged with hate crimes after police said he targeted Hispanic men, brought them to remote locations on Long Island, and attacked them.
Christopher Cella, of Selden, was arrested without incident at about 10:15 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 19, according to the Suffolk County Police Department.
SCPD said at about 8:15 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 17, Cella drove to the area of La Placita, located at 711 Horseblock Road in Farmingville, and picked up a 52-year-old Holbrook man.
Police said Cella brought the man to an abandoned construction site in Farmingville and attacked him.
SCPD said Cella left then drove to the area of 7-Eleven, located at 3000 North Ocean Ave. in Farmingville, and picked up a 60-year-old Medford man shortly after 9 a.m.
He brought the man to the Blue Ridge Condominium Complex in Medford, and attacked and choked the man, police said. The man was able to escape during the attack, SCPD reported.
At about 8 a.m. the next day, Cella returned to the North Ocean Avenue location and picked up a 47-year-old Brentwood man and attempted to bring him to an unknown location, SCPD said. Police said the man was able to get out of the vehicle after he became suspicious.
SCPD said Cella was charged with the following:
- Two counts of second-degree aggravated harassment
- Two counts of criminal obstruction of breathing
- Two counts of second-degree unlawful imprisonment under the Hate Crimes Law
- One count of first-degree reckless endangerment under the Hate Crimes Law
Cella is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday, Sept. 20.
Anyone who believes they might be a victim of Cella is asked to call Hate Crimes Unit detectives at 631-852-6553.
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