New Jersey police have arrested a teenage man they say brutally assaulted a complete stranger almost to death, just because he thought the victim was gay.
José Tobias Carranza Serrano – also known as Kevin Lopez – is the 18 year-old who has been charged with multiple offenses for an attack on a man he had just met.
Police said the attacker lured the 37-year-old victim to North Hudson Park in North Bergen on Tuesday, June 22 where he pummelled and strangled the unnamed man, along with trying to gouge out his eyes.
According to newjersey.com, during Serrano’s court hearing this week, Deputy Attorney General Danielle Scarduzio reported that the 18 year-old “expressed no remorse to the detectives and said that he was ‘satisfied’ with what he had done to the victim, who was a stranger”, believing that he had killed him.
New Jersey Superior Court Judge Paul DePascale denied bail to Serrano, remanding him to custody for the duration of the trial.
He could face 40 to 50 years in prison if convicted. A statement reads:
“This defendant is charged with attempting to kill a complete stranger because he thought the man was gay,” said New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal in a statement. “The victim was beaten and choked so badly that he was unconscious for several hours before a passerby found him and called for help.”
“Whether this type of hate-fuelled violence is directed against the LGBTQ+ community or other groups, it is terribly destructive to society and we must push back against it in every way possible.”
The victim’s family had apparently become concerned when he hadn’t returned from his usual evening walk, before a jogger allegedly discovered him beaten in the park and contacted the police.
Medical authorities say he sustained multiple injuries, including fractured facial bones, bruises as well as kidney and liver damage. He was placed into a coma and remains on a ventilator.