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Know Your Rights
Source: New York Daily News
Subject: TGNCIQ Justice
Type: Media Coverage

Family, friends gather at vigil for slain Queens teen Anthony Collao

Family and friends [and members of Make the Road New York] of a Queens teen gathered Thursday night at the site where he was fatally beaten more than a week ago and called for justice.

Anthony Collao, 17, died after he was chased and pummeled outside a Woodhaven birthday party in the early hours of March 12. Cops said five teens stomped and beat him with a pipe.

Collao died at Jamaica Hospital two days later.

"It’s very overwhelming," said the teen’s cousin, Alex Collao. "It’s also very surprising that so many people who didn’t know anything came together to support him after such an ugly disaster."

Collao’s parents and his girlfriend were too distraught to speak and huddled with family during the vigil.

Four suspects – Alex Velez, 16, and Nolis Ogando, Christopher Lozada and Luis Tabales, all 17 – were collared soon after the attack and charged with manslaughter.

Calvin Pietri, 17 – who has seven previous arrests – was apprehended a couple of days later and also charged with manslaughter for the bloody beatdown.

At least one of the suspects inked anti-gay epithets on a wall inside the vacant house where the party was held after the group stormed in without paying the $7 cover charge, cops and witnesses said.

The suspects chased Collao and a friend after the pair left and pummeled him on the street, police said.

None of the men reportedly used homophobic slurs during the fatal beating and investigators were left to figure if the anti-gay graffiti was intended for the party hosts, who are gay. Collao was not.

"It’s so incredibly important for us all to be here," said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. "This is what happens when hate goes unchecked. We will not allow hate to fester in our city."

Quinn was joined by councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Queens) and the ambassador to Ecuador.

For the original article, please click here.