Alleged Bias Attack on Queens Teenager "Tragic and Deplorable"

New York, NY, March 15, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned as "tragic and deplorable" the deadly attack on a Queens teenager in which the assailants allegedly yelled anti-gay slurs before beating him to death.

The incident reportedly began during a house party in Woodhaven, Queens after a group of teens entered but refused to pay a cover charge. According to reports, the teens yelled anti-gay slurs at Anthony Collao, 18, before chasing him down outside the party. He was severely kicked and punched, with one of the attackers allegedly using a metal pipe.

Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime. To date, five teens have been arrested and charged with manslaughter and assault in connection with the attack.

Ron Meier, ADL New York Regional Director, issued the following statement:

The tragic and deplorable attack on Anthony Callao has shaken our entire community and we condemn it in the strongest terms. People should never be targeted for violence because of their perceived sexual orientation. We agree with New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly that this attack has "all the elements of a hate crime."

This type of crime shocks the conscience and is evidence that hate violence remains a powerful force in New York. Hate crimes affect not only the victim but reverberate throughout a community, and they warrant a priority response from everyone.

We commend the New York City Police Department and its Hate Crimes Task Force for their quick response in apprehending the perpetrators of this heinous crime. Our community must not stand for such brutal and senseless violence, and we look forward to seeing those responsible prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.