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Know Your Rights
Source: Staten Island Live
Subject: Immigration
Type: Media Coverage

Day Laborer Attacked In Port Richmond

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A day laborer is in critical condition with a broken eye socket after he was punched in Port Richmond early yesterday morning, in an attack that community organizers fear is the latest chapter in an ongoing saga of racially tinged violence against Mexican immigrants on Staten Island.

The attack occurred as Alejandro Galindo, 52, was on his way home from work, walking his bike through the intersection of Jewett and Forest avenues sometime after midnight.

Alejandro Galindo was on his way home from work when he was attacked at the intersection of Forest and Jewett avenues and suffered a fractured eye socket and bleeding on the brain.

It wasn’t reported to police until yesterday afternoon, after his daughter, Blanca, and a neighbor, Patricia Suarez, insisted he go to the hospital.

Ms. Suarez said Galindo had picked up a six-pack of beer at the nearby 7 Eleven, and sat down on the curb to drink two of the beers when he was approached by three black men, one of whom hit him without provocation.

The attack surprised Galindo, Ms. Suarez said, though the men may have said something in English he didn’t understand before the strike.

“He [didn’t] understand what happened,” she said. “He goes to the house. He goes to bed,” she said, adding that Galindo told her he had more of the beer before going to sleep, unaware of the extent of his injuries.

Galindo remains in the intensive care unit of Richmond University Medical Center in West Brighton and, as such, was unavailable for comment yesterday.


According to Daniel Coates, an organizer with the immigrant rights group Make the Road New York, Galindo suffered a fractured right eye socket and bleeding in his brain, and may require surgery.

He was listed in critical condition, said Jennifer Sammartino, a hospital spokeswoman.

Galindo’s daughter and Ms. Suarez are both members of Coates’ organization, Coates said. After they contacted him, he called the police.

An NYPD spokeswoman confirmed that the 120th Precinct Detective Squad is investigating the incident but could provide no further details.

Galindo, who is the father of four grown children, works construction jobs and has been in the country for 13 years after moving here from Oaxaca, Coates said.

Ms. Suarez said that despite his condition, Galindo was reluctant to go to the hospital.

“He said, ‘I need to work. I need to work. I don’t like to lose the job,’” she recounted.

When a doctor saw him, though, the severity of his wounds became clear.

She believes the attacker had a blunt object in his hand.

“I don’t like this happening in my neighborhood again,” she said.


The attack comes after a rash of beatings in the Port Richmond community this past April that drew the attention of the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force.

On April 5, Rodulfo Olmedo, a 25-year-old Mexican baker, was beaten so badly outside his Port Richmond Avenue home that his skull was cracked. A grand jury later indicted four suspects in the attack but declined to levy hate crime charges.

On April 17, a 23-year-old Mexican immigrant was ambushed as he got off a bus about midnight at the intersection of Post Avenue and Clove Road and clubbed into unconsciousness, perhaps with a bat.

And on April 25 at about 1:20 a.m., two black men and a woman of unknown ethnicity ganged up on a Mexican man on Castleton Avenue not far from Port Richmond Avenue, beating him badly, police said. The suspects also took cash from the victim.

Police initially did not view the two assaults as bias incidents, but they later assigned the Hate Crimes Task Force to investigate, an NYPD spokesman had said, partly because of the time frame and because in each incident the victims were Mexican immigrants and the assailants African-American males.

“It’s the same sort of thing that’s been happening repeatedly in this area,” said Coates.

Since the attacks, community leaders have met with police and a representative of the U.S. Department of Justice who has set up shop on Staten Island.

“I guess the change, now that I think about it, is people are definitely more aware of the issue,” Coates said. “At least the Latino community is mobilizing around it, even though the attacks seem to continue.”